As legal marijuana moves from basements and backwoods to warehouses and commercial fields, the mold and spider mites that once ruined only a few plants at a time can now quickly create a multimillion-dollar crisis for growers. Some are turning to industrial-strength chemicals, raising concerns about safety.
Pesticides and herbicides are regulated by the federal government, which still regards almost all marijuana as an illicit crop, so there’s no roadmap to help pot farmers. Chemists and horticulturalists can’t offer much assistance either. They sometimes disagree about how to combat the problem, largely because the plant is used in many different ways — smoked, eaten and sometimes rubbed on the skin.
Even if marijuana farmers get help with controlling these pests; pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and even fertilizer is not something that a marijuana user wants to have in their marijuana. This is what differentiate marijuana from a small country like Jamaica where it is grown by small farmers versus the United States where it is now being mass produced by big industrial corporations. The side effects from the chemicals in the marijuana from the United States and Canada could override the benefit. For the marijuana smokers who are organic food fanatics, it would make sense for them to head to Jamaica for marijuana versus buying it from an American grower. If you want your food organic, it would make send that you would want your marijuana organic also.
“We have an industry that’s been illegal for so many years that there’s no research. There’s no guidelines. There’s nothing,” said Frank Conrad, lab director for Colorado Green Lab, a pot-testing lab in Denver.
In states that regulate marijuana, officials are just starting to draft rules governing safe levels of chemicals. So far, there have been no reports of any human illness traced to chemicals used on marijuana, but worries persist.
Original article by firstname.lastname@example.org
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