Health-conscious Coloradans are demanding pesticide-free weed, and it looks like they're going to get it.
Thanks to a populace that largely feels it's entitled to know what poisonous macromolecules make up the food it consumes, we have organic everything in Colorado.
Organic food. Organic bedding. Organic booze. Organic fucking sun-air-water.
So, why then, don't we have organic weed? Colorado's legal weed users are just as apt as any of the state's organo-philes to want to know exactly what's in the products they use. For their health!
Actually, Colorado dispensaries and marijuana product producers are acutely aware of this. They know all too well what the people want, and the people want organic weed. However, since there is currently no regulatory system in place to help Colorado growers achieve official organic certification, almost anything can be incorrectly labeled as "organic" when in fact, it's covered pesticide soup and anything but.
This shitty little fact o' life has already caused massive recalls of thousands of mislabeled pot products in Colorado, pissing off consumers who thought they were making safe, healthy choices when in reality, they were being duped. The large-scale faux-organic scam was made possible by a little glitch in the system; since organic standards are regulated on the federal level, and pot remains illegal federally, there's nothing keeping commercial pot growers in each state from calling their products organic.
But now, regulatory measures are starting to catch up with consumer demands, and all this organic mislabeling has lead Colorado officials to begin a movement to pursue an actual system of organic certification for the state's weed industry. A bill has been drafted that requires stricter standards for organic labeling, and it's actually being reviewed today.
“Consumers have a right to know what they’re putting in their body,” said Colorado Rep. Jonathan Singer (D), who is sponsoring the bill to create the state-sanctioned labels, to the AP.
However, the bill they've drafted up, HB-1079, is a nebulously worded one, something that's raised a few eyebrows of people who are skeptical just how "organic" the pot would be. The measure doesn't specify exactly what growers would have to do to attain organic certification, and it doesn't mention which pesticides specifically would be off-limits for growers. So, in its current incarnation, it's unclear whether the bill will just make it easier for companies to mislabel their products or if it'll actually bring about a new era of legitimately organic marijuana. The bill has its first hearing today, February 19th in the state House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee, so we'll know soon enough whether the organic certification protocols it requires will be adequate or not.
Colorado is the first state to tighten the rules for advertising marijuana products as organic. California has some less stringent regulations in place; last year they adopted a measure requiring organic certification for marijuana products by 2020, if permitted under federal law, but that's still four years off. Colorado wants organic weed now.
However, the biggest problem with organic weed for Coloradans lies in the cost of attaining the certification. Organic anything is always more expensive because of certification costs and pricey pesticide workarounds, something that may raise prices of organic weed for both producers and consumers.
But, Coloradans already know that. We're used to being price-gouged by Whole Foods and its minions for organic produce, meat, dairy and … just about everything. Organic is more expensive. We get it.
Honestly, even though the prices will be higher, just the sheer idea of one day having legitimate, easy-to-understand organic labels makes it worth it. And if you can't afford it, we feel your pain. We can always grow our own weed together … or just accept the fact that we're all going to die one day, so smoking some cheap, pesticide weed and saving a few bucks in the process probably isn't the worst thing in the world.