Soares: DPR Interpretation of Cannabis is Wrong
By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor
George Soares, a partner in Kahn, Soares, and Conway, a law firm based in Sacramento, recently spoke about the issues surrounding cannabis. He is managing partner of the firm and represents several agricultural commodity and trade groups in Sacramento.
He spoke at the recent California Associations of Pest Control Advisors (CAPCA) annual meeting in Anaheim. He touched on the fact that the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is not thinking of the public in their handling of crop protection materials on cannabis.
“The people of California have decided that cannabis can be consumed by the public,” Soares said. “The question is how to grow the cannabis under the regulation.
Currently, the chemicals and fertilizers used to grow the cannabis are all illegal.
“So far, the solution is that we make it legal by stretching the interpretation of the law,” he explained.
By law, pesticides have to be labeled for use, and eligible crops must be on the label.
“The pesticides being used are being interpreted in ways to make it legal to use on cannabis,” Soares said. “Think about the damage that is doing to the legal structure of what we all adhere to.”
“DPR would never let a pesticide be used off-label, but when it comes to cannabis, it looks like the government is willing to let it slide,” he said.
Today, EPA is launching a new voluntary process by which registrants can opt to make legally valid pesticide labeling accessible online. Until now, no version of online labeling has been legally valid for the purpose of making a pesticide application.
This Web-distributed labeling system will initially focus on agricultural and industrial pesticides and professional applicators.
Electronic or online labeling – called Web-distributed labeling – will allow pesticide applicators to download streamlined labeling, including instructions specific to the state and the use site where an application will be made.
Labels accompanying pesticide products in stores can include more than 30 pages of instruction. This new process will allow for online access to portions of the label such as directions for use, first aid and environmental statements for certain use sites.
Web-distributed labeling should provide:
• Improved compliance with the instructions on pesticide labels by making labels easier to access, read and comprehend
• Quicker implementation of measures to protect public health and the environment
• Faster access to new pesticide uses
• Lower costs for Industry and the EPA
The actual labeling on the container will not be shortened in any way with the addition of Web-distributed labeling. The Pesticide Registration Notice (PR Notice 2014-1) is effective immediately.
For more information, please see the announcement in the Federal Register or http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/regulating/labels/distribution/.