With the spread of legalization across America, jurisdictions with legal marijuana are learning the importance of cultivating marijuana with safe agricultural practices. The recent news of toxic fungicide popping up in samples of California’s medical marijuana further reinforces the need to protect consumers from contaminated products.
In an effort to keep its medical marijuana free from pesticides and other harmful contaminants, Yolo County in Northern California has launched a track-and-trace pilot program that requires the participation of all cultivators licensed by the county.
John Young, Yolo County’s Agricultural Commissioner, explained to Capitol Public Radio that the program is meant to prevent harmful additives from contaminating the county’s medical marijuana, “so that we don’t have something that goes to a patient that expects to get healthier using it and actually gets sicker because it’s contaminated with pesticides.”
According to Capitol Public Radio, Yolo County has partnered with Steep Hill Labs, a California-based marijuana testing and analytics company, and SICPA, a global traceability solutions and services company, to launch the pilot program.
“The solution is flexible enough to meet the needs of a mature market like California at the state, county and local municipality level,” said Alex Spelman, SICPA Vice President and Director of Business Development, in a statement. “SICPATRACE, the core technology used with this solution, has been used since 2005 by the California Board of Equalization to effectively track and trace approximately 900 million packs of cigarettes annually.”
Right now, the track-and-trace pilot program only applies to commercially cultivated medical marijuana. According to Yolo County, “Non-medical marijuana commercial activities are illegal until the State begins issuing licenses to operators in early 2018.” Additionally, Yolo County’s Board of Supervisors is meeting on Feb. 7 to decide whether to adopt an ordinance banning on all non-medical marijuana commercial activities