Denver Rec Store Challenges City’s MJ Quarantine Order

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

A cannabis shop in Denver that had roughly 15 to 20 pounds of marijuana put under a legal hold order by the city over concerns of possible pesticide contamination is fighting back in court.

Organic Greens was ordered by the Denver Department of Environmental Health in March to not sell a batch of plants that were treated with the pesticide Eagle 20. Now, the owner is asking a city judge to lift the hold order and allow the plants to be sold, according to USA Today.

Andrew Boyens, the owner of the shop, told judge John Madden that Eagle 20 is commonly used by growers in the industry to fight powdery mildew and doesn’t represent a threat to public health.

“Everything we produce is safe,” Boyens told the judge, USA Today reported.

Organic Greens is just one of at least 10 cannabis growers in the Denver area that have been ordered to quarantine plants that were possibly treated with various pesticides, and Eagle 20 is one of the more common that was identified by the city as a concern.

There’s a disconnect between marijuana cultivation and pesticide law, however, because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not approved any specific pesticides for use on marijuana cultivation, and neither has the state Department of Agriculture.

Depending on which side the judge comes down on could have serious ramifications for other Colorado growers. If Madden sides with Organic Greens, that could signal that it’s okay for further pesticide use by growers. But if he rules in Denver’s favor, it could encourage the city and the state to ramp up pesticide inspections and make life more difficult for cultivators.