The simple and yet complex answer to that question is yes, depending on what your state allows and no, depending on personal position on what is acceptable. We at T.B.C feel that the end consumer should have a guide to analyze what is available on this retail market and make the right decision for themselves.
As a consumer in the I502 market you should be familiar with exploring https://lcb.wa.gov and surveying their list of voluntary/involuntary recalls and their reasoning. This can be a tool to determine what company you might want to support because it’s a clear reflection of their own internal review process and standards. It should be noted that vendors can be penalized for the insufficies of industry testing facilities and their ability to identify pesticides found on products. While on the LCB website, the consumer should also review the approved list of pesticides for Wa state for active ingredients that they may have negative responses to. We highly recommend that consumers with compromised systems who consume cannabis for medicinal purposes research the side effects of these pesticides. According to the Wa Department of Health, the risks associated with pesticides are associated with type of pesticide, the amount, the concentration, the length of exposure, route of exposure, and susceptibility of the consumer.
Now we get to the interactive portion of this investigative process. Go to a i502 shop and speak with the budtender regarding options for pesticide clean or pesticide tested products. Each of these terms means something different and determining how each producer uses these terms will be integral in your evaluation of the product. Pesticide clean could mean that the company uses no listed pesticide, so insect termination is handled through the use of essential oils, terpenes and creatures like ladybugs. The term “pesticide tested” leaves much room for assumption as a consumer. Does it mean they tested the product to ensure that there are no pesticides found, or do they fall within the legally acceptable list and are present in limited amounts?
Finally, in the industry the term “pesticide free” is frequently used and widely debated, as anything applied to deter pests technically falls in that category. In fact, pesticides are broken down into a few common types; antimicrobials/disinfectants, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, repellents, rodenticides and wood preservatives. With that being said, should any of these products be used within the cannabis crop, regardless of a flushing process, it is still disqualified from being pesticide free. Understand that whatever is present in the flower will show up in an increased concentration in an extract. In the case of edibles or cannabis extracts, that means investigating what pesticides are used in the source material.
We as a community should be holding vendors accountable for providing pesticide testing information so the end consumer can make the best decision for their own health. Growers are required to test their products with reputable laboratories and should thus be required to provide that information to processors before closing deals. Processors should be required to make that information available to consumers via whatever technique they choose; i.e. qr code, website or social media. Then most importantly, educate your retailers/budtenders so they can supply the information to the consumer upon request. Until these demands become industry standards try following our suggested steps to navigate products on the I502 market.