As legal cannabis spreads, growers go organic — and beyond

On a noisy, littered block in southeast San Francisco lined end-to-end with mismatched warehouses, Chris Lu grows organic cannabis for discerning customers in California’s legal market.

He shuns synthetic pesticides and applies only approved fertilizers like bone meal, bat guano, and compost tea. That’s a big deal in an industry long dependent on potent garden-store chemicals to protect valuable crops from damage — particularly at indoor operations, where pests and mildew can be harder to eradicate.

It’s also a sign of the times. With the advent of legalization and commercialization here and in eight other states since 2013, new state-level pesticide more at

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