Colorado Debates Organic Labels for Marijuana

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Colorado lawmakers, worried that some marijuana cultivators may be labeling their products as organic when they don’t qualify as such, will on Friday consider a bill to establish state organic certification guidelines, according to the Associated Press.

The federal government already regulates organic labeling, but that doesn’t mean much for cannabis, which of course remains illegal at the national level.

The bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Jonathan Singer, doesn’t specify what cultivators would need to do to become organically certified, nor does it offer guidance on what kind of pesticides or other materials could be used by growers seeking organic certification, according to the AP.

Colorado’s Department of Agriculture would be tasked with finding another entity to draft the organic regulations.

Organic certification has become a hot-button issue in recent months, with Colorado authorities confiscating thousands of marijuana plants because of suspected illegal pesticide contamination, but then later being sold with labels touting them as natural or organic. Colorado’s attorney general even opened an investigation last year into cannabis companies that label their product “organic.”

Cannabis cultivators seem initially split on the issue, with some welcoming official certification, but others worried about the cost that could come with it.