Into the Weeds: Regulating Pesticides in Cannabis

My latest feature for EHP came out last week on April 25, five days late.... Yep, it's about cannabis -- specifically the regulation of pesticide resides on cannabis products in states with fully legal adult-use retail markets (there are currently nine in all). In the 3,500-word story, I probe California's industry-leading regulations and compare them with those of other states, as well as with pesticide regs in Canada, which legalized marijuana sales late last year. As you'll find in the story, the regulatory landscape is a total hodgepodge, with no two bodies taking quite the same approach. Canada's rules are in fact stricter than those of any U.S. state, but are likely impractical for various reasons in California, the world's largest legal cannabis market. The Golden State's rules about pesticides and cannabis are fairly strict, too, but also a little confusing, at worst slightly arbitrary, and certainly lacking a strong foundation in science. That's the state of things at the moment, and it'll take years -- and perhaps federal legalization -- to build a better scientific case and sort out this surprisingly complicated issue.