Sustainability

Sustainable Weed – Earth Friendly Certifications

A Simple Guide to Eco-Friendly Cannabis Labels

The burgeoning cannabis industry has one critical flaw: lack of oversight by federal organizations that establish and maintain certifications for organic consumer goods. Owing to the federally-prohibited status of cannabis, there is no governing body of oversight to certify products in legal cannabis dispensaries as “organic.” In several pot-friendly states, including California, excessive residual pesticide contamination was common enough to cause millions in lost revenue, while also potentially jeopardizing the health of consumers if left undetected by batch-testing protocol. A chasm of regulation has left customers completely in the dark when it comes to understanding how their pot was grown and treated.

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To circumnavigate this challenge, designations that delineate “clean green certified” cannabis products are akin to organic labeling you’d find at the grocery store. In order to apply for the clean green certification, the farm or indoor grow facility must schedule an inspection to demonstrate compliance with state pesticide regulations, maintaining a low threshold of only certain pesticides that are both earth-friendly and non-toxic. Often, inspections will include mock recall and trace-back exercises to verify that the cannabis material is truly compliant. Once the inspection is successfully completed, the certification will remain valid for one year, and the “clean green certified” label can be applied to the packaged products sold in-store.

Several producers and processors in Washington are Clean Green Certified, some of which include Lazy Bee Farms, CannaSol, and MFused. These farms rely on non-pesticide means of pest-control, such as the use of pest-repellants like neem oil, or predatory insects like ladybugs.

For now, the Clean Green certification is the only eco-friendly cannabis label that requires an inspection to verify authenticity. However, several other Washington producers are using their own terminology to describe their environmentally sustainable farming practices. Bondi Farms is a tier 3 producer that labels all their flower and pre-rolls as “pesticide free.” Their entire inventory of cannabis crops are grown indoors utilizing a closed-loop system, meaning the air is recycled through an HVAC system to virtually eliminate exposure to mold spores and other airborne contaminants. Additionally, Bondi uses a combination of Andersoni, Cucumeris, Fallacis, Californicus, and Persimilis, which are all beneficial mites that completely control populations of harmful predatory insects. This innovative technique allows Bondi to grow cannabis crops indoors without using any pesticides whatsoever.

In Washington, Confidence Analytics Laboratory tests some of the most popular cannabis producers and cannabis processors in the state, not only ensuring compliance with regard to residual pesticide content, but also moisture content, mold contamination, etc. In 2014, during the onset of legal cannabis in Washington State, Confidence Analytics Laboratory rolled out its “Tested With Confidence” program, which basically means the laboratory stands by the lab results, guaranteeing their accuracy. Considering that analytics laboratories are often the only barrier standing between customers and contaminated cannabis, those who’re looking for clean, green cannabis can take comfort in knowing Confidence Analytics guarantees complete accuracy. Green Haven is one notable cannabis farm adorning the “tested with confidence” label, consistently passing testing requirements by using only neem oil as a pest-repellant.

In addition to utilizing many of the same organic farming practices mentioned prior, Soulshine Cannabis goes the extra mile by using 100% compostable packaging printed with plant-based inks. This proactive step helps to mitigate packaging waste, which is a relatively new environmental consequence of the legal cannabis market. The “earth friendly” label on Soulshine packaging refers to the conglomeration of non-toxic pest repellants, sustainable farming methods, and biodegradable packaging utilized by Soulshine Cannabis.

The modern cannabis industry was pioneered by innovators who continue to find solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Today, leading cannabis farmers and processors are exceeding the standards for organic production techniques by creating their own revolutionary methods for ensuring the health and safety of their customers and the planet.

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