Just earlier this month, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control released a nearly 500-page set of proposed regulations in preparation for the state’s launching of its newly legalized cannabis market this January.
Part of the new rules is for growers to ensure that the pot they produce are clean and meet the state’s minimum levels of pesticides, solvents, fungus, and mold.
Setting the alarm bells
The urgency was set to motion after Anresco Laboratories conducted tests on all of the cannabis featured at the HempCon Festival in San Francisco last August and found that majority (a good 80 percent) of all the pots presented during the festival contained unhealthy levels of pesticides, molds, solvents, fungi, and even bacteria.
This was further aggravated by data from the Integral Ecology Research Center which shows that Humboldt, Mendocino, and Kern counties positively demonstrated elevated levels of chemicals often used in banned pesticides.
To add further insult to injury, a patient from California who was being treated for cancer at the UC Davis passed away recently due to a lung infection which they believe was caused by ingesting fungus-tainted marijuana.
Changing the game
The new rules is recently sending a message of competition among cultivators and growers to come up with novel farming techniques to produce high-yielding harvests that meet the state’s standards.
One man from the Bay Area may have already crossed the finish line.
Joseph Snow is currently on the experimental phase of his technique but has thus far showed promising results in his initial harvests.
Snow has been growing small indoor cannabis using a technique he adopted from Masanobu Fukuoka, an iconoclastic Japanese farmer who resisted the chemical-based farming practices which became infamous in the early 20th century.
He then had his harvests tested at the Pure Analytics Laboratory in Santa Rosa which found no signs of pesticides and an impressive low mold and fungus levels. His harvests are highly potent too.
Snow’s principles banks on simplification of the farming method. Though his methods has certain similarities to another farming approach called biodynamics, Snow said that his ways are not tainted by some complicated processes involved in this more popular method.
“I pare down everything to its most simple. I want to remove anything that is unnecessary and still grow top-quality crops.”
When asked if the same technique can be applied to large-scale cultivation, Snow said that it is perfectly doable as long as the grower keeps the proper proportion of care in mind.
Snow is among the hundreds of growers in the state who are locking on their bets to experimental techniques that would help them jump through the new regulatory hoops. The question now is: will they all succeed?