By Dan Adams Globe Staff September 13, 2018
Members of the Massachusetts medical marijuana industry are warning that a state crackdown on their use of pesticides — including natural compounds used widely on organic food — would cripple growing operations and threaten the supply of cannabis to patients who rely on the drug.
Regulators at the state Department of Public Health ordered Colorado-based medical marijuana company Good Chemistry to close its growing and processing operation in Bellingham and its dispensary in Worcester after a routine inspection earlier this month.
Inspectors for the department said in a cease -and-desist order that workers at the Bellingham facility had applied unapproved pesticides to its cannabis crop, and that marijuana flower and other products derived from the crop posed “an immediate or serious threat” to public health and safety. It referred the investigation to the state Department of Agricultural Resources, or MDAR, which regulates the use of pesticides on crops including, as of last year, marijuana.
Good Chemistry, however, insists there is no threat. The company — whose Worcester dispensary has since been allowed to reopen and sell marijuana from other suppliers — said it used three natural compounds approved by the federal government for use on organic food, two of which are also approved for use on tobacco. Regulators in Oregon, Colorado, Washington, and Nevada have approved all three for use on marijuana, according to public documents.
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“These organic compounds are safe all over the country, and they’re safe in Massachusetts,” said Jim Smith, a lawyer for Good Chemistry. “For the state to single out Good Chemistry for using an industry-standard practice is absolutely wrong. It’s not