As founders of New Leaf Enterprises, the maker of Dama cannabis products, we are writing to you today to give you a clear and accurate account of the facts behind the pesticide violation levied against us by the LCB. We understand there is a lot of confusion about pesticide use and the safety of New Leaf / Dama products. Much of this confusion is caused by lack of information and by misleading and inaccurate reporting. We have worked too hard in this industry to allow ourselves be derailed by unfounded rumors and what we view as hasty, haphazard reporting.

We’d like to make a couple things clear as well as share a timeline of events for you.

1) New Leaf has never used unauthorized pesticides in our licensed facility.

2) All New Leaf/Dama products currently being shipped have been vetted, tested, and deemed safe by the LCB.

3) All of the Dama flower has been cleared for distribution/sale by the LCB.

Timeline of events:

December 30: LCB put Dama products on administrative hold due to trace levels (0.01-0.04 PPM) of two unauthorized pesticides: dinotefuran (Safari) and myclobutanil (Eagle) detected in our products. 

January 1 – 15: We conducted our own testing in conjunction with the LCB. We discovered the pesticides detected by the LCB came from the unregulated plants we brought in during our 15-day startup period after licensing.

January 29: Dama products were deemed safe and released from the administrative hold by the LCB. The LCB concluded  the levels of pesticides in Dama products were negligible and that New Leaf did not pose any threat to public safety.

This investigation exposed a loophole in the LCB rules by which pesticides can come into the system during the producer startup period. As a result, the LCB is looking to address this loophole, and New Leaf is working closely with them.

What does it mean for processors? New Leaf supplies bulk oil to several of the state’s top processors in Washington. We have explained the pesticide concentrations to these customers and they agree and understand that at these levels there is no health risk. They continue to sell their products. We are communicating with retailers the facts of this situation to help our processors relay this message.

We have always been transparent and diligent in the effort to better this industry. For the last five years, New Leaf/Dama has been a cannabis pioneer in the state of Washington. We were the first to batch test our products for potency in the medical market and help guide the market into what is now the recreational industry.

We understand and acknowledge your concerns and hope to learn from this situation to make this industry better. We thank you for your continued support, loyalty and common vision of a robust and flourishing cannabis future. We are happy to answer any further questions you have regarding this matter. Please contact us at: 206-767-2428

Sincerely,

Boris Gorodnitsky and Dax Colwell

Founders of New Leaf/Dama

For more information on this, please visit these other sources:

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/marijuana/pot-products-recalled-in-colorado-for-pesticides-but-not-in-washington/

New Leaf Administrative Hold Facts and Timeline:

December 30

The LCB put Dama products on administrative hold because trace levels of two unauthorized pesticides in our products: dinotefuran (Safari) and myclobutanil (Eagle) were detected in our products. The levels detected were thousands of times lower than safe FDA limits for these pesticides.  FDA allows as much as 10 PPM (parts per million) in other agricultural crops. Our products were shown to have 0.01-0.04 PPM. Other states, such as Oregon and Nevada, allow concentrations of these pesticides of up to 0.2 PPM, which is many times higher than the levels found in our products.

January 1 – 15

New Leaf conducted our own testing working in conjunction with the LCB. We discovered that the pesticides detected by the LCB came from the unregulated plants we brought in during our 15-day startup period after licensing. We tested our products, production plants and mother plants. We found very low trace in our production plants, and higher levels on mother plants we brought in during our 15-day start up period.

What are these pesticides and how do they work?

Eagle and Safari are systemic, so these pesticides are transmitted to clones taken from the mother plants. As the clone grows into a mature plant, the pesticides are diluted to very low levels. We also found traces of spiromesifen (Oberon) on some mother plants, but this is not systemic so it was not passed through to our production plants or products.

January 29

The LCB allowed Dama products back on the market. Since the levels of pesticides in Dama products were negligible, and New Leaf did not break any rules, the LCB concluded that Dama products are safe and have been released from the administrative hold. Since cannabis is federally illegal, there are no “official” safe FDA limits for any pesticides in cannabis. This is why the LCB does not allow any non-organic pesticides to be used for cannabis production.

This investigation exposed a loophole in the LCB rules by which pesticides can come into the system during the producer startup period. As a result, the LCB is looking to address this loophole. Dama is working closely with the LCB on this issue.

What’s happening now?

We have destroyed our mother plants that have higher levels of pesticides and replaced them with next-generation plants that have very low pesticides levels. Cuttings taken from the next-generation plants do not have detectable traces of pesticides. Until the products from next-generation mothers are available, we are adding a note on our label that warns the consumer of the possible presence of trace levels of these pesticides.

New Leaf supplies bulk oil to several of the state’s top processors in Washington. We have explained the pesticide concentrations to these customers and they agree and understand that at these levels there is no health risk, and they continue to sell their products. We are continuing to communicate to retailers the facts of this situation to help our processors relay this message.

Other information on pesticides in the cannabis industry can be found here:

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/marijuana/pot-products-recalled-in-colorado-for-pesticides-but-not-in-washington/