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Nevada Releases Bulletin for Products Affected by Unapproved Pesticide

Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB), recently published a safety and health bulletin, Jan. 19, regarding an unapproved pesticide. “The CCB was notified that the following cannabis and cannabis products had been treated with an unapproved pesticide, Ethephon, at Clark Natural Medicinal Solutions, LLC,” the CCB explained in its bulletin.

According to the bulletin, currently there is no illness reported.

Pesticides were applied between July 23 and January 5, 2021. The CCB advises that consumers check the label of any cannabis products they purchase (which include pre-rolls, flower, shake, trim and trim). “All cannabis products properly sold by a licensed cannabis sales facility should have a product label on the packaging,” the CCB wrote. “The name of the cultivation facility which grew the cannabis and the harvest date can be found on the label, typically near the top.”

The CCB created a list that included more than 117 edibles and 41 infused prerolls. There were also more than 200 concentrated products, which could have been affected. These concentrates can be found at 104 dispensaries.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that Ethephon was first identified in 1965. It was registered in pesticides in 1973. “Ethephon is a plant growth regulator used to promote fruit ripening, abscission, flower induction, and other responses,” the EPA states. “Ethephon is registered for use on a number of food, feed and nonfood crops, greenhouse nursery stock, and outdoor residential ornamental plants, but is used primarily on cotton. Formulations include formulation intermediates and soluble concentrates/liquids.”

The EPA also states that Ethephon can potentially cause severe skin and eye irritation “but otherwise is “moderately acutely toxic.”

The CCB stated also that Ethephon is not currently tested in testing facilities. “There is no reason to believe the cannabis sales facilities or cannabis testing facilities had any knowledge of the use of this unapproved pesticide; Ethephon is not on the list of pesticides the testing facilities must look for, and their test methods are not set up for detection of Ethephon.”

According to the Nevada Department of Agriculture (updated August 20,22), there are 86 pesticides permitted to be applied to cannabis plants. This varies from minimum risk ingredients such as cinnamon, garlic oil, or zinc metal strips to registered pesticides, such as myclobutanil, where “tolerance is monitored.”

Previously the CCB only had a limited number of bulletins like this. A bulletin on failed microbial testing was published in 2020. There were three more bulletins issued in 2020, which dealt with incorrect THC Potency Testing, failed microbiological testing and products that couldn’t be tested. Unverifiable testing was a topic of two bulletins, as well mislabeled items.

The CCB also issued these bulletins. In December 2022 the CCB granted the final licenses for Nevada consumption lounges. Of those, half were for social justice applicants. The funding for consumption lounges was initially approved by the legislature in August 2021. In June 2022 legislation approved regulations such as staff training, safety protocols and restriction of location. Now, consumption lounges are “likely to open before Summer 2023,” states the CCB.

Last year, a judge ruled that cannabis should be taken out of Schedule 1 under the Controlled Substances Act. The Nevada Board of Pharmacy was ordered by Judge Joe Hardy in September 2022 to eliminate cannabis from the current Schedule 1 category of the Controlled Substances Act. This is because the Nevada constitution recognizes cannabis as having medicinal value. “The constitutional right to use marijuana upon the advice of a physician does establish that marijuana has an accepted medical use and treatment in the United States,” said Hardy.