Maine medical marijuana growers want legal OK to use more organic pesticides

February 6th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s medical marijuana growers are appealing to the Legislature to let them use a greater number of organic pesticides that will help them better control bugs, fungi and other pests while ensuring the safety of the final product.

Some of the organic pesticides cultivators want to use are soap, sesame oil, neem oil and sulphur, which can guard against powdery mildew or other harmful organisms.

Last year, the Legislature enacted a bill, LD 1531, which allowed medical marijuana growers to use certain “minimum risk” products that are listed under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. However, according to the state’s medical marijuana industry, those products aren’t doing the job, and when a plant is infested, all they can do is destroy it.

“We just want to make sure that our medicine is safe and that a supply is readily available for patients,” said Glenn Peterson, president of the Maine Association of Dispensary Operators, in testimony for the Legislature’s Agriculture Committee on Thursday afternoon.

LD 1674, An Act to Further Ensure the Provision of Safe Medical Marijuana to Maine Patients, sponsored by Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton, is the new bill under consideration by the Legislature. Saviello proposed an amendment to it on Thursday that, in itself, would not expand the list of allowable pesticides but rather puts in place a process that would allow expansion of the list.

The process allows medical marijuana cultivators to reach out to organic pesticide producers and try to convince them

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