Colorado Lawmakers Considering Statewide Labeling Standards For Organic Marijuana

By now, we’re used to seeing the word “organic” on many things we consume from food and beverages to personal grooming and cleaning products. So why not slap the label on marijuana products that people consume every day? That’s the question Colorado lawmakers are considering this week.

While the federal government defines “organic” in terms of legal things like apples, milk, shampoo, and dish detergent, marijuana remains illegal under federal law. That means no one is stopping any marijuana producer in Colorado — and other states where weed is legal — from calling their products organic.

A bill to create state-sanctioned organic labels will have its first hearing Friday in the state House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee, reports the Associated Press. It doesn’t lay out what growers would have to do to be certified organic, it just tells the state’s agricultural department to get a third party to work on regulations. It also doesn’t define which pesticides would be prohibited for organic growers.

Colorado has seen consumer confusion over organic marijuana up close: Denver health authorities seized thousands of pot plants from growers suspected of using banned chemicals on their plants. Some of the plants that were eventually released were sold with names that suggested they’re organic.

“That misleads people,” Larisa Bolivar, head of the Cannabis Consumers Coalition told the AP. “We don’t want to wait for someone to get sick. You need to know that when something says organic, it’s organic.”

If Colorado does adopt such a measure, it’d be the first of the legal weed states to do so. Others may follow: California adopted a regulation last year that requires organic certification for marijuana products by 2020 — if permitted under federal law.

“This is not exactly a movement, but it’s not too much of a stretch to say we’re headed that way,” Chris Lindsey, legislative analyst for the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project told the AP.

Colorado debates organic labels for marijuana [Associated Press]