Denver Bud Company is the guinea pig for a new pesticide-free marijuana certification in Colorado

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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The last couple years have not been good for marijuana’s all-natural, take-it-easy image. The state of Colorado issued a series of recalls, alleging that marijuana grown by various companies was tainted by prohibited pesticides.

Now the Organic Cannabis Association, a private group based here, is trying to win back some of that trust.

The industry group is getting ready to roll out its new “pesticide-free” certification, and Denver Bud Company was the site of the first inspection, Modern Farmer reported.

It’s not the same thing as an organic certification. Cannabis can’t be included in the federal organic programs, since it’s federally illegal. Some growers have gotten away with calling their product organic, as the Denver Post reported, but those companies aren’t actually being forced to play by the “organic” rules.

This new certification could be a “launch pad.”

That’s how Modern Farmer puts it. At the very least, it could establish a fair playing field and give consumers something to look for. In the long term, it also could help growers prepare for the day that full legalization arrives, or at least a real organic certification.

Working without pesticides requires some special tactics. At Denver Bud Company, they’re using rosemary and eucalyptus oils and “painstaking care,” according to Modern Farmer.

Hundreds of growers reportedly are interested in the new program, and at least a dozen are in line for inspections. However, it’s worth knowing that this isn’t the first certification for marijuana.

Clean Green, based in California, has been giving its mark for “sustainable, natural organically-based and biodynamic practices” since 2004, including some farms in Colorado.