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Are Dangerous Pesticides In Your Marijuana?


black widow marijuana strainIt seems that the talk of the cannabis industry right now is pesticides being used by growing operation in Colorado. Over the past few years, the marijuana industry has gone fairly unregulated on how businesses can grow their plants and what pesticides can and cannot be used, due mostly from industry pressure. However, this may be coming to an end as the first class action lawsuit is presented within the United States’ cannabis industry.

Brandon Flores and Brandie Lorrabee, both medical marijuana patients in the state of Colorado, are suing LivWell for their use of dangerous pesticides on their crops. LivWell is a large dispensary chain with 9 stores across the Denver area, and uses the pesticide Eagle 20 on their crops. While Eagle 20 is safe to use on crops like fruit, they are not allowed to be used on crops like tobacco due to the hydrogen cyanide gas they can produce, which is extremely toxic.

The lawsuit aims to end the use of this dangerous pesticide in growing operations, and also seeks compensation for health damages done because of the use of Eagle 20.

Just going onto the LivWell website, you can speak with a customer service representative and this is what they had to say to me:

“Testing of our finished product by an independent, state-licensed lab approved by the City of Denver showed that our products are safe. All of the substances used during cultivation are certified by the Organic Materials Research Institute.”


About Author

John Knetemann currently attends South Dakota School of Mines and Technology where he is a chapter leader for Students for Sensible Drug Policy. John has had a passion for drug policy reform since he was a senior in high school, and hasn’t looked back since. Along with his work in SSDP, he is a part of the North American Executive Board for Students For Liberty. You can find John on Twitter.


  1. bat guano is all that is needed. certain ones for certain stages. nothing else besides good soil and good water. you know what, though, a high school kid in ohio committed suicide because of the humiliating treatment he received by officials at a school dance for smelling like marijuana. perhaps we should just give this all up. especially if people are allowed to poison it. and especially since our nation is going to the dogs.

  2. Is this an area where Washington is doing it better? There’s a limited number of pesticides they can use, I’ve heard they are only the ones approved by UW.

  3. Water is a poison. Drink too much in a short period of time and it can kill you. Hydrogen cyanide is produced by the human body.

    The poison is in the dose.

  4. Half the growers here in So Cal are complete profiteering morons. They spray their plants with paclo, eagle 20, myclobutanil, etc. These give nasty skin and stomach reactions, and should be banned and discouraged in marijuana cultivation.

  5. According to the California Environmental Protection Agency: “Under Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1996, the state of
    California publishes the list of chemicals known to the State to cause cancer or reproductive
    toxicity. On April 16, 1999, myclobutanil was added to the list of chemicals know to the State to
    cause reproductive toxicity, specifically for developmental toxicity and for male reproductive

    Myclobutanil is the active ingredient in your EAGLE 20. Don’t use it; EVER. The residues that were highest in their research were used on mint leaves instead of fruit indicating that use on cannabis leaf is a real no-no. Grow your own in a 2×2′ compost filled hole.

  6. It is tragic when greed trumps safety…in any industry. In Oregon, one can choose marijuana that is “clean green certified”: http://cleangreencert.com/home/. Portland has many organic growers so one can find it if one reads menus carefully and talks to store owners. If one wants a certified clean green dispensary, Calyxes is one: http://www.calyxes.com/ and Oregon’s Finest has some strains “clean green certified” weed. Thanks again for this important post John. We need better safety testing (including heavy metals) and better standardization so every lab tests similarly in a “best practice” fashion. Let’s bring marijuana into the 21st century. My $.02.

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