Massive Cannabis Recalls in Colorado Underscore Need for Organic Approach in Maryland
July 27, 2016 (North East, Cecil County, Maryland) – It was a only a matter of weeks after the November 6th deadline to apply for a Maryland medical cannabis grower’s license before the public outcry over Colorado recalls began. The first batch of recalls and lawsuits around pesticide-poisoned marijuana has made a lot of State regulators think about how they would handle a similar nightmare in their own states.
A commonly used pesticide has driven massive recalls in Colorado, prompting concerns over crop safety and product integrity, particularly within the state of Maryland. “Mildew is the enemy,” according to C. E. Dean, Managing Member of Organic Maryland LLC. “Mildew can destroy an entire crop of cannabis, especially in Maryland, where the humidity rules out growing outdoors and enhances the difficulty of growing in greenhouses without administering pesticides; controlling spider mites and powdery mildew without pesticides is not easy in any environment.”
The potential application of pesticide to Marijuana plants has created major safety concerns. Myclobutanil – the active ingredient in the pesticide driving this specific batch of recalls – turns into hydrogen cyanide when heated to the boiling point.
There is no current federal oversight or guidance for medical cannabis. In fact, cannabis is still listed by the DEA as a schedule 1 narcotic, and as a result, no guidelines exist from the EPA or other federal agencies for growing cannabis or maintaining product integrity. A lack of EPA mandates on pesticide use for cannabis means that the Colorado Department of Agriculture has no real federal guidance when enforcing the Pesticide Applicators Act.
In the state of Maryland, this brings up a significant concern among medical cannabis users. Should there be recalls in the state for any reason, there would be no federal guidelines to support whatever action the state would take. All recalls would be handled by Maryland officials without the assistance of federal agencies.
“So how do you really know if your medicine is safe?” asks Dean, repeating the question. “You really don’t I guess, unless you are certain it is organically grown. Without standard testing and guidelines, a patient could unwittingly ingest some serious toxins.”
Chemicals found in common pesticides and fungicides are said to be “safe” in certain concentrations according to the FDA, but current guidelines apply to fruits and vegetables that are washed prior to consumption. Poison released when heating the same pesticide residue can be fatal. The inadvertent creation of hydrogen cyanide – a deadly poison once utilized by the Nazis- could just be the tip of the iceberg. Cannabis is often smoked or heated during the processing of edibles. There has been no significant testing of cannabis and what happens when various pesticides are heated.
Organic Maryland LLC has devised an organic approach to growing vegetables, medicinal herbs and medical cannabis. They start by planting in their specialized soils, which includes a layer of ‘hot’ super nutritious organic soil in the bottom half of the growing container, with some lighter, vegetative cycle soil on top. Plants are watered and the foliage sprayed with 100% natural, living and organic compost teas. “Our proprietary teas serve as a natural pesticide and fungicide, while providing a timed and essential nutrient boost to the soil,” according to Dean.
Organic Maryland has applied for one of the 15 grower licenses that are to be issued in Maryland. In order to provide an alternative to chemically managed cannabis, Organic Maryland is planning a medical cannabis grow facility adjacent to an organic soil business in Cecil County, Maryland.
“If Maryland is like most states, many residents are going to insist on an organic cannabis alternative.” says Dean.
About Organic Maryland:
Organic Maryland LLC is a Maryland company which innovates organic growing techniques, applications and procedures. You can learn more about their approach at OrganicMarylandCannabis.org.