By Michelle Ann Rizzio

As a consumer stepping into a recreational cannabis dispensary there are so many brands to choose from. How can you discern what is the cleanest flower? If having organic cannabis is an importance to you, read on to learn about the Clean Green Certification program.

Clean Green Certification is the closest you can get to organic in the cannabis market. Due to cannabis not being federally regulated, the USDA cannot stamp organic on cannabis products. Clean Green Certification is the largest cannabis certification program in the entire country. On their website, http://cleangreencertified.com, they share “the Clean Green Certified program was created in 2004 as a way to regulate legal cannabis products that called themselves organic.” Since 2008, they have certified over 175 clients and over 60,000lbs of cannabis flower per year which is not even counting the trim, and small buds used for extracts and edibles.

The certification was founded in 2004 by Chris Van Hook who was previously a lawyer and an accredited USDA organic certification agent. In 2003, he was contacted by a cannabis farmer to certify their farm as organic but couldn’t under federal law. Van Hook went on to create the Clean Green Certification and extend it to cannabis producers, processors, handlers, and products used in cultivation.

For cannabis to be approved as Clean Green Certified cannabis, they must be created using pre-approved seeds, clones, soils, nutrients, pesticides, edible manufacturing ingredients, and all other products used to create crops, extracts, or edibles. Consumers can rest assured when they buy a Clean Green Certified cannabis product that it has met all of the requirements of the rigorous program” So what exactly is that rigorous program?

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Their website explains, “becoming certified requires….details of how the crop is being grown. Questions address topics such as the source of water and electricity, soil erosion protection, border areas (are they natural vegetation allowing for beneficial insects or are the plants next to a toxic area?), pest/weed/disease control, etc.” The certifying process requires an on site crop inspection to confirm the methods the farmer stated in the application is being used on site. All fertilizers, pest control sprays, potting soils, and beyond are inspected.

Finally the program requires a Standard Agricultural Inspection. This means that the inspectors examine the plants for excess molds, mildews, pest problems, or other agricultural problems and collect samples for laboratory testing of systemic pesticide residues. By following the same rules as USDA certified products, Clean Green has been aligning itself to a globally trusted organic standard that is used in all other fields of agriculture.

Some brands that are currently Clean Green Certified for cannabis products includes Henry’s Original (a flower and preroll company), Raw Garden (a vape and concentrate company), and Swami Select (a flower company) For more inquiry into what other brands are Clean Green Certified (including nutrients and other growing potions!!!!), check out https://cleangreencertified.com/cg-licensed-distributors/