Medical marijuana dispensaries are illegal in Yolo County, but medical marijuana cultivation is legal.
The county is making an effort to eliminate pesticides from marijuana plants that are grown there.
It has enlisted the help of the same company that supplies and tracks cigarette tax stamps to participate in a pilot program for cultivators.
John Young is the Agricultural Commissioner and says the goal is to make sure medical marijuana doesn't include a nasty additive.
"So that we don't have something that goes to a patient that expects to get healthier using it and actually gets sicker because it's contaminated with pesticides," says Young.
He says medical marijuana is supposed to be tested for pesticides now, but the system isn't working. He says some in the industry will shop for a lab that will pass their product as pesticide-free, even though it isn't.
Young says the SICPA company and Steephill Labs were chosen for the pilot program. He hopes it will serve as a model for the entire state.
"Ultimately, the State of California has to come up with a track-and-trace program," says Young. "Our hope is that we can inform the decision making on what track-and-trace needs to be going forward and work out some of the issues in advance."
Once a system is in place, a medium-size cultivator will pay $2,600 each year for stamps that certify the quality of the product.
The pilot is costing the county about $30,000.
Yolo County plans to use the system only for medical marijuana. The board of supervisors banned recreational cultivation.