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In 2012, Washington and Colorado voters made history when they approved measures to legalize recreational marijuana. Washington Initiative 502 “authorizes the state liquor board to regulate and tax marijuana for persons twenty-one years of age or older.”Since the vote in Washington, the Liquor Board has written a complex set of rules for the state’s new, legal recreational cannabis marketplace. The agency has also set limits on the amount of marijuana that can be grown. And the Board has begun to license growers, processors and retailers.For now, the Obama administration has signaled it will not interfere with Washington and Colorado’s legal pot experiment, unless there is evidence that legal pot is “leaking” to other states or children are getting access to the legal product. The feds are also watching to see if criminal organizations exploit the legal market.The first marijuana retail stores in Washington opened in July 2014.Recreational marijuana is also set to become legal in Oregon on July 1, 2015 after voters approved Measure 91 in November 2014.

Pesticide List For Pot Earns Praise

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network

The state of Washington has compiled a lengthy list of pesticides for marijuana growers to use -- even though these chemicals are not officially approved for pot. The new list is part of the state’s ongoing effort to regulate the production of legal, recreational marijuana.

Cannabis is about to become Washington’s newest, legal cash crop. Like any crop marijuana plants are susceptible to pests. Since pot cultivation is against federal law, there are no EPA-approved pesticides specifically for cannabis. So, the Washington Department of Agriculture has developed its own list of nearly 200 pesticides it believes are generic enough to safely use on pot plants – without growers running afoul of state and federal law.

Longtime grower Jeff Gilmore praised the list in testimony at a Washington Liquor Control Board public hearing in Olympia. “Historically we’ve used everything from DDT, Chlordane, other things that are totally inappropriate for the production of marijuana. Now we have a list. This list will literally save lives.”

Gilmore added that he believes the greatest health risk is not to the end user, but to the person applying the pesticides.

The Washington Department of Agriculture says its list does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation and the agency reserves the right to rescind the list at any time.

On the Web:

I-502 Implementation - Washington Liquor Control Board

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."