Colorado Cannabis Producers Have Legal Alternatives To “Organic” Label

COLORADO: Any other operation that routinely labeled its products “organic” without certification to back up the claim would have been shut down and fined almost immediately, an expert in organic certification said.

Colorado’s cannabis industry, though, has benefited from the regulatory gray area where it resides, producing a product that is legal to consume and sell in Colorado but remains illegal under federal law.

“If those farmers were farming any other agricultural crop, they would be contacted within a month or two,” said Chris Van Hook, an accredited organic certifier for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and owner of Clean Green Certified, an organic-alternative program for cannabis. “It’s very clear in the organic regulations: It’s a $11,000-per-violation labeling infraction to call an uncertified product organic.”

Rather than just wait for the federal government to begin certifying, industry leaders are working to find their own way to legitimately market marijuana products as pesticide-free and environmentally friendly.

University of New Haven Developing New Method To Test Marijuana For Mold, Other Contaminants

CONNECTICUT:  The microscope at the University of New Haven, set at 10-times magnification, shows a marijuana leaf covered with dozens of tiny bumps. It’s mold, and someone, somewhere could be smoking similarly contaminated pot and not have a clue.

Heather Miller Coyle, a forensic botanist and associate professor at the university, says all sorts of nasty things not visible to the naked eye have been found in marijuana — mold, mildew, insect parts, salmonella and E. coli, to name a few.

That’s why Coyle and her students earlier this year began developing a new process to detect contaminants in marijuana through DNA profiling and analysis. The aim is to be able to identify potentially harmful substances through a testing method that could make the analysis easier and quicker for labs across the country in the developing industry of marijuana quality control testing. [Read more…]