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Oregon Halts Sale of 14 Grow Products Due to Unlabeled Pesticides

July 21, 2016

This story has been updated.

An announcement out of Oregon late Thursday could spell disaster for cannabis growers who used any of 14 horticultural products recently revealed to contain pesticide ingredients not listed on their labels. The state Department of Agriculture has ordered that the sale of the 14 products be halted, and the agency says cannabis growers who use them could “experience a loss of marketability.”

UPDATE: The Oregon Department of Agriculture, in a July 29 notice, said that one of the 14 products, Sierra Natural Science 217C All Natural Spider Mite Control, will again be allowed. "ODA was notified that one of the products is not in fact adulterated," the department said in the notice. "ODA has subsequently cancelled the stop sale … and put it back on the ODA guide list of pesticide products for use on cannabis."

The Agriculture Department’s stop-sale orders come just weeks after Washington regulators detected undisclosed pesticide ingredients in 15 different products sold there. Regulators in both states are warning that any use of the since-banned products could result in cannabis failing state-mandated lab tests, and Washington says some products could even be confiscated and destroyed.

Neither state has gone that far just yet, however. The Oregon Department of Agriculture, in its Thursday press release, says it’s still investigating dangers associated with the products, which are “commonly used in horticulture and hydroponics, including cannabis production”:

“ODA is working with the Oregon Health Authority to determine any potential human health concerns associated with the use of products treated with these undeclared pesticide active ingredients.”

 Pesticides 101: Questions and Answers for Cannabis Patients and Consumers

And although the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) is requiring further action by producers, processors, and retailers, the agency appears to have stopped short of pulling products off store shelves. Retailers, a memo issued this month says, must “Post the notice [about the possible use of the undisclosed pesticide] provided by the processor in a conspicuous location on your licensed premises.”

What about the fact that these products’ labels allegedly failed to mention the presence of pesticides? The Oregon Health Department says it “will proceed to address violations of Oregon’s pesticide and fertilizer laws, which include adulteration of a pesticide product and mislabeling of a pesticide or fertilizer product.”

Leafly’s State-by-State Guide to Medical Cannabis Testing Regulations

Here’s a complete list of the products sold in Oregon and their manufacturers:

  • Vita Grow Thunder Boom — Marco Industries Inc. d.b.a. American Agriculture, Portland, Ore.
  • OG Rapid Flower + Hardener — Crop Specific Solutions, Rockingham, Western Australia
  • Humboldt Roots — Humboldt Nutrients LLC, Paso Robles, Calif.
  • Safergro Mildew Cure for Powdery Mildew Control — JH Biotech, Ventura, Calif.
  • Olivia’s Cloning Gel — Olivia’s Solutions Inc., Santa Rosa, Calif.
  • The Hammer — Plantlife Products, Kelowna, B.C.
  • Frost Protection Plus — Rambridge Wholesale Supply, Calgary, Alberta
  • Rock Resinator Heavy Yields — Rock Holdings Pty Ltd., Perth, Western Australia
  • SNS 217C All Natural Spider Mite Control — Sierra Natural Science Inc., Salinas, Calif. See update above.
  • Root 66 1-1-1 — Technaflora Plant Products Ltd., Mission, B.C.
  • Optic Foliar AT-AK, Optic Foliar Overgrow, Optic Foliar Switch — Tulsi Enterprises Ltd., Surrey, B.C.
  • Pyyro K 0-3-7 — Van de Uber Marketing and Manufacturing, Port Moody, B.C.

The full Oregon Department of Agriculture press release is available online.

 Seed to Sale: How Legal Cannabis is Grown

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Ben Adlin

Ben Adlin is a Seattle-based writer and editor who specializes in cannabis politics and law. He was a news editor for Leafly from 2015-2019. Follow him on Twitter: @badlin

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