Washington state cannabis regulators will soon take up mandatory pesticide testing

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Washington state regulators are discussing changes to the recreational marijuana program, including implementing mandatory pesticide testing in the near future.

The prospect of mandatory pesticide testing has been a cause for concern among smaller cultivation operations.

They worry that any added operational costs could eat away at already slim profit margins.

On the other hand, one retailer in the Seattle area has begun self-testing cannabis products for pesticides.

In an interview with The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, members of the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) discussed problems facing cultivators in an increasingly tough market as wholesale cannabis prices continue to fall.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • While Washington-grown cannabis is tested for microbials, it isn’t tested for pesticides. Rick Garza, the LCB’s director, said the board planned to consider mandatory pesticide testing soon. One sticking point: There’s a lack of data to gauge what are acceptable, safe levels of certain substances.
  • Growers are joining together in protest of air pollution regulations, saying the market is tough enough to make a profit without added regulations.
  • Regulators admitted that not allowing for vertical integration – meaning one business could hold a production, processing and/or retail license – was a program “fault.”