Thanks to its leafy branding and hippie endorsement, cannabis has long enjoyed an earthy, au naturel image. The vast majority of weed sold, however, isn’t grown in any sort of sun-dappled Eden. With global sales expected to hit $16.9 billion in 2019, cannabis has become a massive industry, much of which relies on indoor, energy-intensive growing; heavy doses of pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and rodenticides; and often, drug cartels. The dire effects of cannabis cultivation on waterways, forest soils, and human rights have been well documented, meaning Whole Foods acolytes should be hip to the fact that your average puff of pot isn’t clean, green, or remotely organic.
That’s because the word “organic” is essentially owned by the federal government—and while two-thirds of US states now have some form of legalization on the books, the feds still consider cannabis a Schedule 1 narcotic, meaning it’s ineligible for official USDA organic