ACCL: 50% Or More of Commercial Cannabis Flowers and Concentrates May Contain ‘Concerning Levels’ of Chemical Residues
Pesticide residue on marijuana is a problem that’s not going to go away anytime soon. With the state of Washington, for instance, allowing more than 225 pesticides on commercial cannabis — yet not routinely testing for levels of any of them — issues are bound to occur.The Association of Commercial Cannabis Laboratories, Inc. (ACCL) on Monday released a statement offering information on the continuing concern of pesticide contamination on cannabis.
ACCL members in several states have detected high levels of various cultivating agents that are being used to combat numerous types of fungal and insect based assaults during cultivation, according to the organization.
“As member laboratories continue to advance their technical sophistication using state-of-the art mass spectrometry-based approaches, we have broadened the ability to detect more of these cultivating agents and have come to understand that this problem is larger and more complex than anyone initially suspected,” ACCL announced.“While challenging to detail an accurate picture in the face of complex and continuously evolving laws and regulations around cannabis cultivation practices, collectively our most recent assessment of the prevalence of pesticides and fungicides shows that around 50 percent or more of the commercially available flowers and concentrates may contain concerning levels of these types of harmful chemical residues,” the watchdog organization’s prepared statement reads.
“It is the most important quality issue regarding medical and adult use cannabis today,” said Dr. Robert Martin, ACCL executive director. “Pesticide residues are not known to break down by heat of process or by biodegradation and remain toxic in the plant or soil for lengthy periods of time.”
Fully recognizing this concern and aiming to best protect all cannabis consumers — especially those who have compromised immune systems, impaired liver function, or are seeking therapeutic and therefore consistent and constant uses of cannabis — ACCL said its members are uniting nationwide to collaborate on establishing cultivating agent testing standards and methods. The organization is hoping that will offer informed scientific leadership to the rapidly evolving cannabis industry.It must be pointed out that laboratories like those which belong to the ACCL will be the beneficiaries of mandated lab testing for pesticides and other contaminants. But it must also be quickly added that they won’t be the only ones who benefit. Consumers, of course, especially those with compromised immune systems or liver function, can do themselves a favor by avoiding contaminated cannabis.
The effects of pesticide agents like myclobutanil, when burned, haven’t been studied. The antifungal agent has been approved for use on fruit crops (it’s commonly used on grapes).
Myclobuitanil is commercially sold as Eagle 20, Rally, Quali-Pro, F-Stop, Boon, and other brand names, and is often used by marijuana cultivators to stave off powdery mildew. Early tests indicate the myclobutanil can be converted into cyanide by the burning process, producing toxic fumes. It has also been found to affect the reproductive abilities of test animals.
Workers exposed to myclobutanil have reported symptoms such as skin rash, allergic dermatitis, itchiness, nausea, heachache, diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, nosebleed, and eye irritation (CDPR). In fact, it has been speculated (and convincingly so) that what is commonly misdiagnosed as “cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome” is in fact a form of low-level myclobutanil poisoning.“Cultivating agent contamination is a huge concern for cannabis,” confirmed Dr. Jeffrey C. Raber, president of ACCL. “Collectively the broad based and accurately informed perspective of ACCL member organizations lends to a unique collective intelligence that is best capable of solving this important problem.
“By coming together to share our experiences and insights we believe we can arrive at an effective and viable solution to this problem that will most quickly allow for the introduction of responsible regulations and laws to best protect all cannabis consumers,” Dr. Raber said.
“All ACCL member organizations strongly believe in being part of a responsible, well-regulated and clean supply chain for the cannabis industry and are fully committed to actively contributing considerable amounts of time and effort to provide technical solutions to the detection and eventual eradication of this contamination concern,” the organization announced.