Yesterday the WSLCB sent out an announcement that farms in a specific area of Okanogan County have tested over action limits on a chemical named DDE. DDE is a breakdown molecule from the chemical DDT, a substance banned from use in agriculture since 1972. This is not a substance that is currently applied to any agricultural crops, it is a remnant of a chemical used more than fifty years ago.
Although the WSLCB does not require cannabis products to be tested for DDE, randomized WSDA testing has detected DDE at an action level exceeding the .1 parts per million (PPM, 0.0001 %) at a number of farms surrounding Brewster, WA. The WSLCB has put these farms, as well as others located on nearby former orchard land on an administrative hold despite the fact that many have not yet been tested for DDE. It is unclear what type of this health risk DDE actually poses at the levels detected, but we are in the process of consulting with scientific experts to provide us with a science-based risk assessment as soon as possible.
There are broad negative implications for not only those farms but others who grow in Okanogan County. We are being told that farms that have not been swept up in this action but are growing in Okanogan County have already suffered financial loss due to confusion stemming from yesterday’s WSLCB announcement.
We are in discussions with WSLCB, industry and science leaders in this arena with the goal to better understand the scope of the current investigation and any future actions they plan to take. We hope to clarify the messaging to emphasize that this is not an issue with the entirety of Okanogan County.
We can best put our arms around this topic by understanding specifics. Licensees impacted as a result of this announcement are asked to share how this announcement is affecting your business and what WSLCB communications lead up to this announcement.
Please send us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org with your best contact phone number. Please know that any information you share will be treated with utmost discretion.