With Marijuana Legalization Comes Marijuana Recalls
By Dan Nosowitz
Marijuana regulation is well behind its legalization; there isn't really any alternative, given that research and consumer desires will shape what we know and want from the crop.
But we've got a couple of new recalls, so it's worth looking into the recall history of cannabis products in North America. In Michigan, cannabis has only been legal since Dec. 6, 2018, and yet there's already been a recall, the state's first. Our neighbors to the north have one too, from a Toronto-based company called Up Cannabis.
Since 2012, when Washington became the first state to legalize recreational cannabis use, nine more states (plus Washington, DC) have joined in. There have been several recalls already in those states, and those have typically been due to high pesticide use—for example, this Colorado recall of 100,000 cannabis-infused lollipops and candies, or this Oregon recall of a specific strain of marijuana called Blue Magoo.
Each individual state is responsible for instituting its own regulatory system; as the plant is not federally legal, national programs like the National Organic Program are usually not available. (There is no federally regulated organic cannabis whatsoever; any claim to a cannabis product being "organic" does not have the same regulation that organic fruits or vegetables do.) As with much of the cannabis industry, sometimes the regulation has been slow to be put into place.
Michigan has only two approved laboratories for testing products at the moment, a potential bottleneck that most newly-legalizing states have had to deal with. And when one of those labs is found to have a major issue, as with Sequoia Analytical Labs in California, that bottleneck grows even worse. Sequoia was forced to surrender its testing license only a month ago after reports surfaced alleging mass falsification of test results.
There's the additional problem that historically, cannabis has not been a carefully operated agricultural sector, largely due to its prohibition. When simply existing is highly illegal, excess use of, say, literal rat poison is hardly a grower's biggest concern. Much of the new crop of growers, operating legally and within the boundaries of fresh legislation, are breaking from that history—but growing pains remain. It's also worth noting that while cannabis is a far smaller crop than, say, romaine lettuce or chicken, there are many, many industries with worse safety records, at least so far. But given that this whole industry is so new, it's worth keeping an eye on how it's taking shape.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Modern Farmer.
Britain's Prince William interviewed famed broadcaster David Attenborough on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Switzerland.
During the sit-down, the 92-year-old naturalist advised the world leaders and business elite gathered in Davos this week that we must respect and protect the natural world, adding that the future of its survival—as well as humanity's survival—is in our hands.
What's more, the accounting firm predicts that another 21 million electric cars will be on the road globally over the next decade due to growing market demand for clean transportation, government subsidies, as well as bans on fossil fuel cars.
By Matthew Savoca
Plastic pollution in the world's oceans has become a global environmental crisis. Many people have seen images that seem to capture it, such as beaches carpeted with plastic trash or a seahorse gripping a cotton swab with its tail.
Greenland is melting about four times faster than it was in 2003, a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found, a discovery with frightening implications for the pace and extent of future sea level rise.
"We're going to see faster and faster sea level rise for the foreseeable future," study lead author and Ohio State University geodynamics professor Dr. Michael Bevis said in a press release. "Once you hit that tipping point, the only question is: How severe does it get?"
Finally, some good news about the otherwise terrible partial government shutdown. A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration cannot issue permits to conduct seismic testing during the government impasse.
The Justice Department sought to delay—or stay—a motion filed by a range of coastal cities, businesses and conservation organizations that are suing the Trump administration over offshore oil drilling, Reuters reported. The department argued that it did not have the resources it needed to work on the case due to the shutdown.
Most people have heard of the Amazon, South America's famed rainforest and hub of biological diversity. Less well known, though no less critical, is the Pantanal, the world's largest tropical wetland.
Like the Amazon, the Pantanal is ecologically important and imperiled. Located primarily in Brazil, it also stretches into neighboring Bolivia and Paraguay. Covering an area larger than England at more than 70,000 square miles, the massive wetland provides irreplaceable ecosystem services that include the regulation of floodwaters, nutrient renewal, river flow for navigability, groundwater recharge and carbon sequestration. The wetland also supports the economies of the four South American states it covers.
By Andrea Germanos
Organizers said 35,000 people marched through the streets of the German capital on Saturday to say they're "fed up" with industrial agriculture and call for a transformation to a system that instead supports the welfare of the environment, animals and rural farmers.
By Patrick Rogers
If you have ever considered making the switch to an environmentally friendly electric vehicle, don't drag your feet. Though EV prices are falling, and states are unveiling more and more public charging stations and plug-in-ready parking spots, the federal government is doing everything it can to slam the brakes on our progress away from gas-burning internal combustion engines. President Trump, likely pressured by his allies in the fossil fuel industry, has threatened to end the federal tax credits that have already helped put hundreds of thousands of EVs on the road—a move bound to harm not only our environment but our economy, too. After all, the manufacturing and sale of EVs, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids supported 197,000 jobs in 2017, according to the most recent U.S. Energy and Employment Report.