Because the federal government classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 narcotic, the EPA makes no federal regulations or restrictions for pesticide use in cannabis products, placing such regulations and guidelines at the state and city levels.
The California Bureau of Marijuana Control places the most strict limits on growers and dispensaries in terms of pesticides and contaminants. These regulations apply to various organic crops, impacting both federal and state laws. As the medical cannabis industry continues to expand, testing products for purity and quality has never been more important. In 2015, many products that would be considered impure by today’s standards were being distributed in qualified states like Oregon, Washington and California. Some believe marijuana manufacturers are endangering consumers by using large quantities of harmful pesticides and other chemicals in their products. Critics have long preached about to the marijuana community about product liability. Shoddy safety practices are widely believed to be putting people at risk, which is why anyone involved in the legal distribution of marijuana must stay comply with current regulations and the agencies currently enforcing them.
Business owners worried about accurate lab testing for cannabis and marijuana infused products may also be worried about lawsuits. There are circumstances under which marijuana producers, processors, and retailers alike can be held liable for a defective product, even without any knowledge of the defect. Anyone in the chain of product distribution, whether they grew or produced the defective product, may be held liable if the product makes a consumer sick. These safety standards ensure that marijuana plants are kept healthy and cannabis products are kept consumer safe.
The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) provides recommendations for the sale and use of pesticides in California. They are bound by the 2016 Medical Cannabis Regulation and LOL Safety Act and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act to manage and maintain California cannabis guidelines. Those guidelines are then provided to the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation (BMCR) on pesticide residue. It is up to BMCR to actively develop the necessary regulations in partnership with the Department of Public Health (Office of Manufactured Cannabis Safety), and the Department of Food and Agriculture (CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing). Then, these three licensing agencies issued draft regulations for manufacturing, cultivation, a track-and-trace system, laboratory testing, dispensaries, and other cannabis related activities.
For more information on regulations in California see California Department of Pesticide Regulations.