Prominent CA testing lab: 84% of marijuana samples contaminated

The cannabis industry still has a pesticide problem.

Steep Hill, one of the leading names in cannabis testing, said in a press release Wednesday that a whopping 84% of marijuana samples submitted to its Berkeley, California, lab came back positive for pesticide residues. The results were for samples tested during a 30-day period ending Oct. 10.

The residue findings include chemicals such as myclobutanil, a key ingredient in Eagle 20, a pesticide often favored by marijuana growers for its effectiveness against pests such as powdery mildew.

But Eagle 20 and other potentially toxic pesticides have become a hot-button topic in the marijuana trade in recent years, with many states enacting strict regulations regarding what types of pest controls cannabis growers are allowed to employ.

Myclobutanil – which was found in more than 65% of Steep Hill’s samples – converts into hydrogen cyanide when burned, so if such residues are present on cannabis flower that is smoked, that means consumers are inhaling potentially dangerous chemicals.

Many in the industry have begun moving away from pesticides and toward more organic methods of fighting pests, but there’s still a long way to go, as evidenced by Steep Hill’s findings.

“These results were significantly higher than expected and are cause for concern for California cannabis consumers,” Steep Hill said in the release.

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7 comments on “Prominent CA testing lab: 84% of marijuana samples contaminated
  1. Alicia Rose on

    So important to know your farmer and the source. HerbaBuena carries certified biodynamic Cannabis free from any chemicals. Always ask for sun grown which is less likely to have pesticides. Clean green certified is also reported to ensure your medicine is free from non organic chemicals.

  2. Gill on

    The article seems to suggest that pesticides (chemicals used to control insects) might also be useful against a fungal problem?! Powdery mildew isn’t a pest, but a fungus…..and fungicides might be more appropriate to control it. There are softer methods than conventional fungicides….. Horticulture 101…..

    • Pete on

      Yes: “Myclobutanil is a conazole class fungicide. It is used heavily to control fungi affecting wine and table grapes, especially in California.” How hard was that to determine by this article’s author? If this is the best your paper can do ( and it’s been at least several times these kinds of egregious errors have occurred in recent memory ); you might think about replacing your editor, if there’s one at all that is experienced and knowledgeable around MMJ.

      One also has to wonder about the timing of the release of this info. by the lab. Haven’t Steep Hill, and other labs been keeping track of these stats now, for decades? Kind of important numbers to know, you know. Why haven’t these numbers been released from previous years samplings for comparison? If the MMJ community, including the labs are genuinely concerned about the public’s health, don’t you think that these kinds stats would have been released over time: years? Why wouldn’t have that year after year info been compiled and placed in this article? Is this 84% fungicide ( not pesticide ) detection in samples a new thing? Or has it always been this way ( high positive rates for fungicide and/or pesticide residues??). It’s kind of suspicious that this kind of info is being released just 2 weeks before the general election, esp as it relates Prop 64 being on the ballot. A proposition that was largely put together by big corporate special interests. Could it be that this articles’ rub is to try to convince the reader that only “big boys”/corporations can do it right, and the small cottage farmer ( lumped in with the cheats ) doesn’t know what she/he’s doing? Sure sounds like it to me. This all sounds like a Vote “yes” on 64 propaganda.

      • Garbear on

        Lol, a fungus is a pest.

        Pesticide is an umbrella term you are confusing with the word insecticide. there are many classes of pesticides. You have fungicides, insecticides, ova icides, acaricide, rodenticide,etc. All of these are classed in FIFRA. Learn the law and if you so choose, step up and change it.

        It is important to understand to educate yourself before try to educate others.

        • Pete on

          Re-educate yourself, Mr. In the “real” world, pesticides/insecticides usu mean the same thing. And, the vast majority in this industry, and in general Ag. see it this way. How is “myco” not a fungicide much more than a pesticide? Myco has never been referred to as a pesticide. Your inference is an unrealistic stretch. Further, a site that touts itself as a leader in MMJ news, one would have expected better.

  3. Manny Johnson on

    I am a 20-plus year nursery grower in Florida and have testified in MMJ legislation in 5 states and 3 countries about the illegal and dangerous use of Pesticides on anything we are going to call or use as “Medical Cannabis.” I started doing this 4 years ago and have found that the use of pesticides has just gotten worse as this industry tries to continue to become established in more sates and countries. Cannabis will never be real “medicine” until the use of pesticides and other poisons are removed from the culture that cultivates it. Lack of intelligent, sustainable cultivators who care nothing about the end product they are growing are to blame. If anything will ruin this nascent industry it will be the ignorance and greed of this part of the supply chain. It is estimated that over ONE BILLION dollars worth or retail cannabis was destroyed legally and illegally just in the U.S. since the beginning of 2016 due to pests, diseases, and/or the destruction of cannabis due to pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxins being discovered by state regulators. It is certainly way past the time to wake up and learn how to grow “Organically” and use only Organic fertilizers and Organic Disease inhibitors to cultivate Medical Cannabis! Respectfully, Manny Johnson

  4. ryan on

    and the big failure of calis black market weed begins… as a colorado grower i got a message for cali growers. GET READY. Between pesticides, water rights, and state compliance, shifty politicians and their backroom deals, and surprise tax levies on municipalities…

    Get ready for shortages in cali flower once they get up to speed with colorados standards, and its the state and local governments who are going to push it.

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