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Organic marijuana labeling fails to pass in Colorado... Should clean weed qualify as 'organic?'

Organic marijuana

(NaturalNews) As people everywhere become more concerned about what they are putting into their bodies, the demand for organic products is rising dramatically. Just as people are increasingly opting for organic food, those who purchase marijuana want it to meet the same criteria.

However, labeling marijuana to indicate whether it is truly organic can be a bit complicated, and there is no regulation in place to ensure that growers are truthful. In fact, Colorado lawmakers have just failed to pass a measure to institute standard organic labeling for marijuana because of concerns about public perception.

The labeling proposal, which failed by 4-3 in a Senate committee, would have applied to marijuana that was produced without pesticides. Those opposed to the measure felt it could lead people to believe that marijuana is harmless.

Sen. Rollie Health, D-Boulder, said, "It will mislead people to thinking marijuana doesn't have any health effects, that it's OK. It kind of puts a stamp of approval on it."

The measure's sponsor, Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, rejected this notion, saying, "Does that label mean there are no health effects? That's it's healthy, it's wholesome? I don't think anyone is going to be under any false illusions."

Ben Gelt of the Organic Cannabis Association points out that foods that are not entirely healthy, such as wine and chocolate, are eligible for organic certification.

Some of the lawmakers even expressed concern that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would end up penalizing state agriculture regulators for labeling the marijuana as organic. Organic standards for food fall under federal regulation, and marijuana is still illegal on the federal level. This means that there is currently no way to prevent commercial growers from labeling their pot as organic when it is not.

Unregulated organic labeling of marijuana leading to consumer confusion

Had it passed, it would have made Colorado the first state in which organic labels on pot are regulated. Last year, concerns about off-limits chemicals being used by growers led to the seizure of thousands of marijuana plants by health authorities in Denver. After releasing most of them, some were actually sold with names suggesting that they were organic or natural.

Last year, Dr. Andy LaFrate of Colorado marijuana research facility Charas Scientific warned that cannabis consumers should exercise caution, after discovering that a surprising amount of the legal cannabis being sold in the state was contaminated with toxins such as pesticides, heavy metals and even mold.

He reached his conclusions after testing 600 samples from various dispensaries situated throughout the state. In addition, he discovered that many of the more popular strains available were high in THC and low in the beneficial CBD that can help patients who suffer from neurological disorders, seizures and epilepsy.

This is also a problem with the food supply, as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, uncovers in his book, Food Forensics. Analytical testing of hundreds of foods and supplements in his lab found the presence of a number of concerning toxic ingredients in everyday products.

Organic demand growing across the board

Farmers and food retailers alike can barely keep up with the demand for organic food, with Costco CEO Craig Jelinek recently telling investors that his store "cannot get enough organics to stay in business day in and day out."

The Organic Trade Association reports that organic food sales jumped to $35.95 billion in 2014, from just $11.13 billion a decade earlier. This sentiment is carrying over to beauty products, and marijuana users are also expressing concern, as many of them turn to the plant in the first place to avoid the chemicals found in prescription medications.

Despite the measure failing to get off the ground, the topic is likely to be revisited, as people continue to raise concerns about what is really in the substances they consume.

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