Denver’s environmental health component notified Colorado’s growing cannabis industry that it would be trying to enforce federal, state, and local laws concerning the use of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. Soon after, pesticide enforcement in Denver came. However, Colorado continued to pretend that there was not a problem in the industry. Eventually, there was sundry cannabis product recalls as pesticide violations continued to occur.
As a result, state officials began to debate over how to deal with the pesticide issue because the Environmental Protection Agency was unable to rule on marijuana; pot is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug which means that it is federally illegal. Colorado’s Governor, John Hickenlooper, came into the conversation and decided to sign an executive order which accepts some sort of responsibility for pesticide enforcement, Food Safety News reports.
The governor’s executive order recommends for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDHE) to consider all off-label pesticide use as a danger to public health and also directs the Colorado Department of Revenue similarly. Colorado marijuana farmers have used very strong pesticides in order to control conditions such as mildew, etc., which are often a result of growing plants indoors. The list of pesticides was only revealed after Denver decided to begin enforcing pesticide control more.
At the same time, two pot-smokers from Colorado decided to sue a marijuana business in October because of its use of unhealthy pesticides; this was the first lawsuit in the United States in the new marijuana industry. Governor Hickenlooper’s executive order definitely came at the perfect time as it began to apply the Colorado Pesticide Applicators Act to pot farmers.
Much of Colorado was shocked at the actions that the state has taken towards pesticides, Food Safety News wrote. The Democratic Governor is famous for opposing the legalization initiative in 2012, but now, a few years afterwards, Hickenlooper has accepted campaign contributions from marijuana businesses. Perhaps the people should not be that surprised by the Governor’s support, after all.
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