.02 General Requirements for Applying or Recommending Pesticides.

A. This regulation sets forth the general requirements which a person, when applying or recommending a pesticide, shall follow.

B. Pesticide Use or Recommendation. When using or recommending pesticides, a person shall:

(1) Use or recommend only those pesticides which are registered with the Department;

(2) Use or recommend pesticides in strict accordance with:

(a) The Maryland Pesticide Applicators Law;

(b) The Maryland Pesticide Registration and Labeling Law; and

(c) Except as otherwise provided by State and federal law, the manufacturer's labeling directions;

(3) Observe all precautions in the handling, use, storage, and disposal of pesticides and their containers so that:

(a) Pesticides do not move from the intended site of application;

(b) Nontarget areas or organisms, including humans, do not suffer injury; and

(c) Unreasonable adverse effects on the environment do not occur or are minimized; and

(4) Comply with 40 CFR 165 (Pesticide Management and Disposal) and 40 CFR 170 (Worker Protection Standard), as amended, which are incorporated by reference.

C. Limitations on Restricted Use Pesticide. A person may not use a restricted use pesticide unless that person is a certified applicator or is a person working under the supervision of a certified applicator.

D. Restrictions on Use of Pesticides for Cannabis Cultivation — Exemptions.

(1) Except as provided in this section, a person may not use any pesticide in the cultivation of cannabis, defined as any part of the plant Cannabis sativa.

(2) A person may use a pesticide provided it is registered with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and labeled for the following purposes:

(a) For the purpose of disinfection or sanitation to control microorganisms on surfaces such as benches, floors, pallets, pots, skids, plant pots, tools, and equipment; or

(b) For use as a soil fumigant to sterilize planting media to control soil-borne organisms.

(3) A distributor may not register any pesticide under Agriculture Article, §5-105, Annotated Code of Maryland, that is labeled for use in the cultivation of cannabis that does not conform to the requirements of this section.

E. Application for Use of Pesticides in Cannabis Cultivation.

(1) A person may submit a written application to the Secretary to approve the use of a pesticide in the cultivation of cannabis.

(2) The application shall include a certified risk assessment for the pesticide, performed by an independent accredited laboratory approved by the Secretary, that concludes that the use of the pesticide in the cultivation of cannabis will not lead to unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment, after considering the following uses of the pesticide:

(a) On food (in order to have a complete toxicity database to evaluate the potential toxicity of acute, short-term intermediate, and chronic exposure);

(b) On tobacco (in order to have a pyrolysis study to determine the breakdown products formed when the treated plant material is burned);

(c) By the same type(s) of application methods (in order to assess the exposure of workers who mix, load, and apply the pesticides in the cultivation of cannabis);

(d) On crops with agronomic characteristics similar to cannabis in order to ensure that workers handling the pesticide are adequately protected when applying the pesticide; and

(e) In the same kind of structure (e.g., greenhouses or shadehouses) or on the same kind of site (e.g., outdoor dryland site), for the purpose of ensuring that workers handling the pesticide are adequately protected when applying the pesticide, for example, ensuring that the adequate personal protective equipment is required and that the environmental fate and effects of the pesticide use are adequately understood and that any appropriate measures are in place to protect non-target organisms and water resources.

(3) In determining whether the pesticide poses an unreasonable risk to human health, the Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene.

(4) The Secretary shall notify the applicant if the request to approve the use of a pesticide in the cultivation of cannabis is granted or denied.