- Associated Press - Monday, March 23, 2015

DENVER (AP) - The city of Denver has ordered commercial pot growers to quarantine hundreds of marijuana plants because of possible pesticide violations.

The order affects six commercial marijuana growers. It is the first time Colorado health authorities have taken pot plants out of the state’s regulated market because of health concerns.

The quarantine came after Denver Fire Department inspectors noticed improper pesticide or fungicide applications.

“Some growers were not using pesticides accordingly to their labels, including applying some that specifically state are not to be used on crops that will be consumed by humans,” Denver spokesman Dan Rowland said Monday.

Denver has ordered all 371 licensed pot growing facilities in the city to report on what pesticides they use by April 1.

Some of the complaints came from workers in the grow facilities, Rowland said.

The city wouldn’t name the six locations cited. The plants represent a small percentage of the city’s overall crop, and there were no immediate reports of sickened consumers.

The quarantine means the marijuana can’t be sold and that the owners must await further action from health authorities. The plants could be destroyed, but Rowland said it will take about a week to get test results on the quarantined plants.

The state of Colorado has long had “best practices” type of guidance for pesticide use by pot growers, but the state has yet to conclude work on implementing rules for pesticide use in the industry.

Agriculture regulators generally require pesticides to be used as labeled. But because there aren’t any pesticides labeled for use on marijuana, growers are asked to use pesticides labeled for “unspecified crops and/or plants.”

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Kristen Wyatt can be reached at https://www.twitter.com/APkristenwyatt .

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Online:

Denver pot pesticide bulletin: https://bit.ly/1LPJDk1

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