Reality Check: Marijuana is not “Organic”

Jay Lauren

The “O” word is all over the place: Google “Organic CBD or marijuana” for a list of companies making (false) claims that, one day, will fall under Federal scrutiny.

“Organic” is not a marketing tool or a promotional claim. It’s a Federal classification, governed by the USDA, enabling qualifying products to display the certified USDA seal. The Fed’s laws are very clear, and all products that carry the seal are monitored, and have strict production requirements. These products must be:
  • Produced without excluded methods, such as genetic engineering, ionizing radiation, or (ew!) sewage sludge.
  • Produced only with allowed substances.
  • Overseen by a USDA National Organic Program-authorized certifying agent, following all USDA regulations.
Until the Federal Government reclassifies marijuana its from current status as a Schedule I narcotic, the USDA cannot issue any certification, because they haven’t created standards for Organically-grown marijuana. Industrial hemp-derived products also fall under this oversight, per the Fed’s instructions from August 2016.
Yet we continue to see many companies marketing their products as “organic”. Some of these companies are producing CBD from industrial hemp, or from trace THC-strains classified as industrial hemp – neither of which is marijuana. Others state they use “organic” practices. They can even claim to be a member of the OCA, an association that is developing pesticide-free and (its own) organically-grown standards for the marijuana industry. But none of the above are genuinely Organic, where the word carries both a stamp and a meaning.
We look forward to the day when USDA guidelines allow companies to practice Organic marijuana growing, production, and food processing. But until the Federal Government takes action by undoing the laws preventing this (de-scheduling or re-scheduling) — this will not happen. Until that time, we can vote with our wallets, and avoid supporting any company in the marijuana industry making money through deceptive marketing, and misleading promotion.