There are other certifications to look for and questions to ask about how the plant was grown and harvested.

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Many of us prefer to buy organic groceries and beauty products — so it’s no surprise that when it’s time to purchase cannabis, you may be inclined to look for the organic option. “Customers ask for ‘organic’ and pesticide-free cannabis every day,” says Bobby Wilson, purchasing agent and manager at Theorem Cannabis. “More and more are asking if the product has been tested for pesticides.”

Unlike your produce, you won’t find any cannabis that’s labeled organic — rather, the logos to look for are Clean Green, DOH Compliant, and Testing Confidence.  The reason cannabis can’t be classified as organic is due to federal law. The “organic” logo that we all recognize is a federal classification and, because cannabis isn’t federally legal, it’s simply not eligible to be recognized as organic. But none of this means that you can’t be a consumer who’s conscious of what’s in the cannabis products you purchase.

The Clean Green Certified Program was created in 2004 so that consumers can be sure the product they’re buying has met certain requirements. As the only nationally recognized third-party cannabis certification program, the Clean Green logo is one to look for if your goal is to consume a product that’s undergone rigorous testing.

“Clean Green has all the same requirements as organic as we understand it,” explains Mindon Win, communications manager at BotanicaSeattle, a local purveyor of cannabis edibles. Win notes that one thing Clean Green really tries to drive home — and what Botanica explains to their customers — is that because it’s cannabis, the way many people consume is through smoking. This means there should be a higher threshold than for produce, because our lungs are much more sensitive than our stomachs.

“If there’s anything that applies to plant products, those compounds are concentrated, too, so it’s really important for people to be aware of what they’re putting in their bodies,” Win continues, explaining that the goal of companies like Botanica is to offer customers the cleanest plant possible, regardless of whether they’re going to smoke it or consume it as an edible. “One of the ways in which the Clean Green folks have gone above and beyond is their regular inspections of farms,” Win says. Although there are certain pesticides that have been Clean Green certified, Win says that many farms his company works with opt to not use any pesticides at all because they don’t want them in the life cycle of the plant. Instead, they focus on using predatory bugs to eat the pests on the plants.

Clean Green isn’t the only logo to be aware of. Danielle Rosellion, owner and COO of Trail Blazin’ (the only Department of Health-compliant medical grade cannabis in Washington state), says it’s even more important for consumers to look for the DOH Compliance logo or the Testing Confidence logo. “Then you know things have been tested and they’ve tested clean,” Rosellion explains. “The rules are quite stringent when it comes to pesticide use, so if they have those logos you know they’re within the rules.”

If you’re fairly new to shopping for cannabis or you simply want to be more conscious of what’s in the product you’re buying, Rosellion notes that stores are required to provide test results for anyone who asks. “I would ask for the pesticide test results,” she recommends. “And if the farm or store can’t provide them, I’d pick a different product because most places aren’t pesticide testing — so if they don’t have those results, don’t buy the product.”

Wilson has found that, to most customers, the certifications are very important and they’ll only entertain buying clean pot that has been tested for pesticides. “It’s similar to a USDA organic apple versus a standard apple,” he says. “There are the patients and customers that have read the horror stories of the past, where farms got caught up in bad growing practices.”

Because this is a new industry that isn’t understood well, Wilson emphasizes the importance of cannabis education as a crucial aspect of customer service. “Transparency is important,” he says.

Until cannabis is federally legal, there’s no possibility that it can be classified as organic — but fortunately, there are other certifications to look for and questions to ask so you can rest assured that you are consuming the cleanest, healthiest option.

Recreational marijuana has opened up a whole new world of options. Regardless of your understanding or experience with cannabis, the staff at Theorem Cannabis will help create a personalized experience to complement your lifestyle.

DISCLAIMER: This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit-forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgement. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. For use by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of reach of children.