In the absence of federal guidance on the use of pesticides, the nine states that have legalized cannabis for commercial use are building a patchwork of regulatory polices in an effort to ensure that the end product is safe for consumers, reports the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
Driven by "diablo" winds, massive wildfires burned hundreds of buildings, including three wineries, and tens of thousands of acres in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties, reports the Wine Spectator. Dairy farms and produce growers with crops ripe for fall harvest also were in peril, "but moving farm animals is another story," said the San Francisco Chronicle.
For more than 40 years, the Emerald Triangle — "a densely forested region of labyrinthine back roads, secret valleys, and perennial creeks in Northern California" — has been a great place to grow a prohibited but highly desired product: marijuana. But this area is now coming under massive pressure with the state's legalization of recreational weed, reports Stett Holbrook in FERN’s latest story, published with GRIST, “The high price of cheap weed.”
The synthetic pesticides and fertilizers used illegally to grow marijuana in national forests produce far more pollution than previously thought, says Reuters. "Thousands of acres" of national forest in California are "waste dumps so toxic that simply touching plants has landed law enforcement officers in the hospital."
Four decades ago, Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz told row-crop farmers to “get big or get out,” a choice that marijuana growers may be facing in California as “cannabis is going industrial,” says the New York Times.