Nearly one quarter of U.S. residents now live in states that allow the recreational use of cannabis.

While we all have been focused on the Presidential election results, cannabis law reform won in eight out of the nine states where it was on the ballot, from California to Massachusetts, on November 8, making clear the that the public is ready to put the harsh prohibitionist pot policies of the past behind us.

The legal cannabis market could triple over the next for years to $22 Billion, according to a pre-election day editorial in The Wall Street Journal.

In this brave new weed world, people care about the cannabis they smoke (and eat).

The fast growing cannabis business could benefit from a voluntary certification system that producers could participate in to show consumers that they employ environmental best practices. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture claims it controls “organic” agricultural and because marijuana is a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970, federal policy does not permit cannabis, a federally banned substance, to be labeled as organic. In response, this law firm has been working with a cannabis industry group to create a ‘pesticide free, fertilizer free and fungicide free’ Verdant Check third party certification for sustainably produced “organic equivalent” cannabis.

Verdant Check will simultaneously encourage energy and water conservation and will provide a marketing boost to producers that participate in the program. Many cannabis consumers might prefer to purchase a sustainably produced product, and a label of certification would provide these producers a means by which to differentiate their products from others in the market. The USDA reports that consumer demand for organically produced goods continues to show double‐digit growth.

An early reviewer of the standard, observed, “this is like LEED for weed.”

Verdant Check is a voluntary third party program that can be self administered or third party certified. Producers can choose to participate in whole or in part or not, depending on whether it makes business sense to them.

Verdant Check has created a set of protocols for cannabis production. Verdant Check certified operations must demonstrate that they are using only approved substances and protecting natural resources.

Specifically, Verdant Check has established a national standard for the marketing of certain legal cannabis products as sustainably produced including to assure consumers that Verdant Check produced cannabis meets a consistent standard.

To be sold or labeled as a Verdant Check certified cannabis product, the product must:

Have been produced and handled without the use of synthetic chemicals, except as otherwise expressly approved in the program;

Not be produced on land or in growing medium to which any prohibited substances, including synthetic chemicals, have been applied during the 3 years immediately preceding the harvest of the cannabis plants; and

Be produced and handled in compliance with a Verdant Check plan agreed to by the producer and handler of such product.

This program for organic equivalent cannabis was prepared and vetted by a team of experienced scientists and attorneys, and not by some loose coterie of potheads simply looking for consensus.

Verdant Check is currently being piloted both with medical marijuana and recreational cannabis produces with a proposed first quarter 2017 public release.

Note, in the instance of a cannabis product certified under the Verdant Check program, it is intended that the certification will be considered sufficient to make a claim regarding the absence of bioengineering in the cannabis, such as “not bioengineered”, “non-GMO” or other similar claims.

Organic marijuana Verdant Checked cannabis is coming ..