Denver Marijuana Industry Bulletin
Use of Pesticides in Marijuana Cultivation Facilities
March 13, 2015
Dear Denver Marijuana Industry Members,
This bulletin is to remind you that pesticides and agricultural chemicals must be used in accordance with the product label and with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations. Improper use of pesticides on marijuana can raise serious public health concerns.
Federal, state, and local laws require that pesticides be applied according to label directions. As part of the directions for use, pesticide labels will specify the particular crops and/or sites to which they can be applied.
Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets tolerances limiting pesticide residues in or on food. However, certain pesticides may be exempted from this tolerance requirement if the EPA has determined that use in accordance with their label directions poses no hazard to public health. Currently, there are no pesticides that are specifically labeled or have pesticide residue tolerances established for use on marijuana by the federal government or by the State of Colorado, nor does the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) recommend the use of any pesticide not specifically tested, labeled and assigned a set tolerance for use on marijuana because the health effects on consumers are unknown.
CDA Pesticide List
Despite the law, some pesticides have broad label language that does not prohibit their use on marijuana and are exempt from the tolerance requirements. Therefore, the use of these pesticides on marijuana would not constitute a violation of the label, and the CDA has developed an unofficial list of pesticides that can be used for this purpose. The list of pesticides registered in Colorado may be updated based upon the following criteria:
- The label allows for use on unspecified crops and/or plants, and;
- The label allows use at the intended site of application, and;
- The label directions do not prohibit use on crops or plants intended for human consumption.
The CDA list may be obtained from the Pesticide Section of the Department of Agriculture by contacting Matthew Lopez and/or John Scott.
The City of Denver
In light of the significant risks associated with the storage, use and disposal of pesticides, the City of Denver is issuing this bulletin to inform you that city inspectors will enforce local ordinances that protect the health and safety of the public, and will also notify the CDA of apparent violations of the Pesticide Applicator’s Act. Pursuant to its authority under the Denver Fire Code and under the Pesticide Applicator’s Act, see §35-10-112(3) and §35-110-112.5(3)(a), C.R.S., the Denver Fire Department has implemented a notification requirement for any marijuana cultivation facility that stores, uses, or disposes of fumigants, pesticides, fungicides, and/or miticides. Each cultivation facility must:
- Submit a “Pesticide Inventory Statement,” which lists the product name and quantity used and stored on the premises.
- Maintain current Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for each pesticide used or stored on the premises. Current SDS for all chemicals must be submitted to the Denver Fire Department with the “Pesticide Inventory Statement.”
- Placard individual grow rooms with the following information:
- Pesticide used in the room
- Amount used
- Date and time used
- Re-entry period
The “Pesticide Inventory Statement” is available from the Denver Fire Department at the Fire Prevention Office, 745 W. Colfax Ave., and will be online next week at Denvergov.org/DFDMarijuanaInfo.
Completed “Pesticide Inventory Statement” forms along with current SDS for every chemical used at the cultivation facility must be submitted to DFD at the above address no later than April 1. Failure to file a “Pesticide Inventory Statement” with the DFD or use of pesticides other than those listed on the “Pesticide Inventory Statement” may result in additional enforcement action and/or sanctions against your license.
Additionally, the Public Health Inspections (PHI) division of Denver Environmental Health will enforce existing ordinances and regulations that protect the health and safety of consumers in Denver. In light of the significant risks associated with pesticide residues on marijuana cultivated for human consumption or ingestion – including products that are intended for inhalation or for use as tinctures or topicals – PHI will enforce rules and regulations governing food and/or products that are commercially manufactured and/or sold in Denver
If PHI inspectors find pesticides at a cultivation facility that are not included on the CDA Pesticide List, they will (1) notify CDA of the unlisted pesticide, (2) work with CDA to determine whether the pesticide qualifies to be added to the list, and (3) take further enforcement action should CDA decide that the pesticide should not be added to the list. Please be aware that Environmental Health has the authority to order the destruction of product that it deems to present a danger to the health and safety of consumers. Moreover, use of pesticides that present a danger to the health and safety of consumers may result in additional enforcement action and/or sanctions against your license.
Marijuana Enforcement Division Rules
Please also be aware that the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) requires that marijuana cultivation facilities may only use pesticides in accordance with the “Pesticide Applicators’ Act,” §35-10-101 et seq., C.R.S., MED M504, and R504. The MED has issued rules regarding the storage, use and disposal of pesticides as they are used in marijuana facilities. With regard to pesticides specifically, the MED rules require a marijuana cultivation facility to:
- Establish written standard operating procedures which must include, at minimum, when and the manner in which all pesticides and other agricultural chemicals are applied during the cultivation process. A copy of these procedures must be maintained on the licensed premises.
- Maintain a current copy of a safety data sheet for any pesticide or other agricultural chemical used or stored on the licensed premises.
- Maintain on the licensed premises the original label (or a copy thereof) for all pesticides and other agricultural chemicals used during the cultivation process.
- When any pesticide or other agricultural chemical (“chemical”) is applied to any portion of a marijuana plant, water or feed, the facility must maintain a record on the licenses premises of the following information:
- The name, signature, and occupational license number of the person who applied the pesticide or chemical;
- Applicator certification number, if applicable;
- Date and time of application;
- EPA registration number of the pesticide or CAS number of any chemical applied;
- Any of the active ingredients;
- Brand name and product name of the pesticide or chemical;
- The restricted entry interval from the manufacturer’s label of any pesticide or chemical applied;
- The RFID tag number of the marijuana plant(s) to which the pesticide or chemical was applied, or statement that the pesticide or chemical was applied to all plants in the licensed premises, or in a particular room;
- The total amount of pesticide or chemical applied.
- The disposal of all pesticides and chemicals must be done in a manner consistent with federal, state, and local laws, regulations, rules and other requirements. All pesticides must be stored and disposed of in accordance with the information provided on the product’s label.
- The MED has prohibited the use of certain chemicals in marijuana facilities. See M504F and R504F.
- The MED also has labeling requirements regarding the use of all nonorganic pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides used during the cultivation process.
Please visit the Colorado Department of Revenue, Marijuana Enforcement Division and reference Rules, M504/R504 series, R1004.5 series, and M1500/R1500 series.
Denver Fire Department
Public Health Inspections
For questions and additional information: