Pest Management Practices for Cannabis in California (8/15/16)
California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) recently published a document detailing pest management practices that are not illegal for marijuana growers to use in the state. The Department has identified a list of active ingredients which are exempt from residue tolerance requirements (the amount of pesticide residue allowed to remain in or on a treated crop with “reasonable certainty of no harm”) and either exempt from federal registration requirements or registered for a use that’s broad enough to include use on marijuana. These active ingredients have been identified for use against pests most likely to affect indoor and outdoor marijuana plants. In addition to the list of pesticidal active ingredients, DPR also outlines Integrated Pest Management (IPM) solutions that can be used to control weeds, insects, and plant pathogens, such as physical removal of pests or the release of predatory insects.
This document also provides guidance to growers on how to assist DPR in identifying pests that may affect marijuana plant growth throughout the state. As research is still being conducted and not all pests have been officially determined, DPR encourages growers to attempt to preserve specimens so that entomologists can identify them and research their effects. Growers are also asked to make note of where on the plant the pest was found (ex: stem, root, flower) and when it was captured. Compiling a list of all pests and diseases that affect marijuana plant growth throughout the state will allow DPR and other agencies to better understand how to safely regulate its production and use.