Pubdate: Wed, 10 Feb 2016
Source: Colorado Springs Independent (CO)
Column: Cannabiz Marijuana news by Nat Stein
Copyright: 2016 Colorado Springs Independent
Author: Nat Stein


There's a marijuana recall saga playing out in Denver that suggests 
our regulatory system isn't quite up to snuff yet (at least when it 
comes to quality control.)

It first blew up last March when the city of Denver quarantined more 
than 100,000 plants from six separately owned and operated grows 
after the fire department discovered off-label pesticide use on the 
plants during routine safety inspections.

The city stepped up its inspections of cultivation facilities, and 
the Denver Post 's Cannabist blog even commissioned its own tests for 
pesticides on retail marijuana extracts.

In November, Gov. John Hickenlooper issued an executive order 
declaring "all marijuana contaminated by off-label pesticide use [is] 
a risk to public health" and directed that it be destroyed.

All told, products from 13 different manufacturers were recalled in 
the fall (some voluntarily, some at the direction of city and/or 
state officials), mostly extracts and infused products made with 
contaminated extracts. You can find the full list inside this story 

Then, on Feb. 2, despite Gov. Hickenlooper's executive order, Denver 
released more than 28,000 edibles back onto shelves. The products, 
made by EdiPure and Gaia's Garden, contain only trace levels of 
banned pesticides - lower than the amounts allowed on food.

The city's Department of Environmental Health is confident that the 
products are safe.

"They wouldn't [release the products] otherwise," Dan Rowland, 
spokesman for Denver's Office of Marijuana Policy, told The 
Cannabist. "While there may be residues still present, they're below 
that standard we've developed." Plus, the city attorney's office felt 
fine about it. "The XO [executive order] doesn't tell us, the city, 
anything," Rowland added.

Now, state lawmakers are looking at ways to tighten up the system - 
by asking the Colorado Department of Agriculture to keep a list of 
pesticides approved for use on cannabis and devising a statewide 
pesticide-free certification program.

Need better papers

Kansas is taking a hard look at its own marijuana laws, which are 
some of the most punitive out there.

In January, the Kansas Supreme Court struck down a decriminalization 
ordinance Wichita voters passed last April. With its passage, adults 
over 21 found in possession of small amounts of marijuana or 
paraphernalia would be fined no more than $50 - a far cry from the 
state's punishment for the same crimes of up to a year in jail and a 
maximum fine of $2,500.

Before Wichita voters even passed the thing, Kansas Attorney General 
Derek Schmidt had warned the local law would be incompatible with 
state law. True to his word, he filed suit as soon as the measure 
passed. But in the end, the high court's argument wasn't substantive 
so much as procedural: It found the petition filed with the city 
clerk, though it had enough signatures to make the ballot, didn't 
include a verbatim draft of the ordinance. So voters may not have 
been fully aware of what they were voting for, meaning the law was 
improperly enacted, and shouldn't stand.

Schmidt, who is keping tabs on marijuana coming from Colorado 
(CannaBiz, Jan. 13), released a statement saying, "Today's decision 
confirms what we have said all along - the Wichita marijuana 
ordinance is illegal and void."

He did, however, acknowledge that a paperwork goof doesn't really 
mean the underlying legal question has been answered. "The 
legislature should make crystal clear its intent to have these law 
enforcement standards, policies and procedures uniform throughout the 
state," he continued.

"Whatever one's views on the merits of current state policy related 
to marijuana, I think most Kansans agree it makes little sense for 
the basic rules for enforcing the criminal law to differ from city to city."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom