Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association (MOFGA) have launched a program for the Maine medical marijuana industry that is sure to get the approval of many cannabis users. The group started a yearlong trial at the end of August for a Certified Clean Cannabis program that ensures that Maine medical marijuana is grown to national organic standards that are used to grow other organic food products. So far, 5 cultivators have been given the certification in this initial trial stage. The program ensures that the medical cannabis is grown without any harmful chemicals and it is the first program of this nature on the East Coast.
The Necessity to Create a Marijuana-Specific Standard
Usually the Department of Agriculture oversees the process for labeling foods as organic, but since marijuana is still considered to be a federally illegal substance, they have not been able to get involved with certifying marijuana related products. This is why Dawson Julia, who is the owner of East Coast CBDs, was inspired to convince MOFGA and 5 growers to work together to create an official organic standard for marijuana growing. They began work on the program in early 2014 and are now ready to begin its trial.
The Immense Maine Medical Marijuana Program
The Maine medical marijuana program is one of the biggest in the country. There are currently over 2,700 caregivers or small level cultivators licensed to grow cannabis for up to 6 patients. While the state doesn’t monitor how many patients are part of the program, it is known that over 48,000 certification forms were printed out by doctors in the last year. On top of this, Maine is voting on whether to legalize recreational marijuana in this November ballot. If the state should choose to legalize, it would make the need and demand for proper organic marijuana certification even more relevant.
Guidelines of MOFGA
Julia, who is also one of the first certified clean growers said, “This program brings (caregivers) credibility. If I was going to the grocery store to buy food, I’d want to make sure it’s certified organic by an oversight organization. It’s the same thing with cannabis.” The organic transitions coordinator for MOFGA said that the Certified Clean Cannabis program will follow the same guidelines and processes for certifying other food products as organic. The standards for dealing with healthy soil as well as eliminating weeds and pests will be outlined in the program.
The West Coast already has a few organizations whose focus it is to establish organic standards for both the medical and recreational marijuana industries. Medical marijuana is now legal in 25 states and recreational marijuana is legal in 4 states and D.C. and as more states go to the voting booths to vote on the issue this November, the number of states where marijuana is legal is certain to grow. As this occurs, the need for an organic standard for both patients and recreational users will continue to grow as well. For this reason, Certified Clean Cannabis is setting a good standard for how other states on the East Coast and in general can manage their marijuana industries in the future.