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Cannabis and Pesticides

cannabis plant

ADEC is providing this information for informational purposes only and does not authorize, permit, endorse, or in any way approve or recommend the use of any pesticides on cannabis for any purpose.

Both industrial hemp and cannabis used for recreational or medical purposes are varieties of the same plant, of the genus Cannabis. Hemp contains 0.3% THC or less, while cannabis contains more than 0.3% THC.

At this time, there are no pesticides specifically approved by the EPA for use on cannabis crops, except for some hemp fiber crops.

Pesticide products have not been tested by the EPA to determine possible health effects if used on cannabis that might be applied topically, ingested, smoked, or inhaled. Therefore, health risks of using these products on cannabis crops are unknown.

Both state and federal law require that pesticides be applied according to label directions. As part of the directions for use, pesticide labels will specify the particular crops or sites to which they can be applied. Some products have very specific lists (e.g., “wheat”), and other products identify more general sites (e.g., “grain crops”). While a pesticide with a label that specifies “wheat” can only be applied to wheat, a pesticide that lists “grain crops” on the label can be applied to wheat, barley, oats, rye, etc. Products with less specific labels may be applied to cannabis without violating the label.

No pesticide product labels currently list cannabis crops as an allowable application, and only very few are currently approved for hemp fiber. However, it is the opinion of ADEC that pesticides that meet the criteria as outlined in the side bar can probably be used on cannabis crops without significant risk or violating the label, provided that all label instructions are followed.

ADEC has compiled a partial list of pesticide products that meet these criteria. At minimum, this list will be updated each June - Pesticides that Meet Criteria to be Used on Cannabis Crops (PDF).

Please contact ADEC Pesticide Control Program at 800-478-2577 or 907-376-1870 with any questions about pesticides that may be appropriate for use on cannabis crops .

Pesticide Criteria

Pesticides with an EPA Registration Number

  1. Pesticides must be registered for sale in Alaska.
  2. Label language must be broad enough that their use would be allowable on cannabis (i.e., “for use on outdoor vegetables” or “can be used on greenhouse plants”).
  3. Pesticides must be exempt from food residue tolerance requirements (listed in 40 CFR 180).
  4. The pesticide’s active ingredient must be allowed for use on tobacco by EPA for application to all cannabis or to hemp that might be vaped or otherwise inhaled.

Other Pesticides

This includes products which state they kill or repel pests, but which contain only minimum risk ingredients, known as “25(b) exempt products.

  1. Pesticides must be registered for sale in Alaska.
  2. Label language must be broad enough that their use would be allowable on cannabis (i.e., “for use on vegetables” or “can be used on greenhouse plants”).

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