What is California Prop 65?
We’re mandated to warn California residents
Learn why our products are perfectly safe to use. Despite the scary warnings.
While well-intentioned, California’s Proposition 65 — officially “The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986″ — has led to unintended consequences, especially when it comes to products made with the cannabis plant, including Green Bee Botanicals skincare.
We appreciate this law; it’s meant to inform consumers about food, water, and other consumable products that may have ingredients that can cause cancer or birth defects.
We are actually exempt from Prop 65 because of our small company size. However, because Prop 65 has created a big, lucrative business for lawyers representing plaintiffs looking to sue, we choose to include it to protect ourselves.
So what’s so “dangerous” about our products?
Our hemp products contain oil from the Cannabis sativa plant. The State of California has deemed cannabis smoke harmful. And in our case, the naturally-occurring chemical that they deem dangerous is a terpene called myrcene (aka β-myrcene or beta-myrcene). We obviously don’t have smoke in our products nor are they meant to be inhaled. Rest assured, our products are safe to use.
Natural terpenes give plants their distinctive scents, such as the citrusy smell of lemons and the crisp, refreshing scent of pine trees. Myrcene is found in fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and plants, such as mangoes, hops, bay leaves, lemongrass, eucalyptus, verbena, citrus, pomegranates, carrots — and, you guessed it, cannabis and hemp plants.
California requires a Prop 65 warning if a product contains an ingredient on the Prop 65 list, even if it’s naturally occurring or in trace amounts, and even if they’re not meant to be smoked, as is the case for myrcene in our products.
The important thing to know is that our products are safe
1) All of our products pass very strict testing regimen for safety, way stricter than organic food testing. We do these tests for 100s of contaminants voluntarily, because we want to give you the cleanest skincare on the planet.
2) We publish these test results, called certificates of analysis (COAs), for all our products on our website.
3) Our products will not cause cancer. They are not dangerous.
Green Bee Botanicals was founded by Bridget May specifically to make safe, clean products with safe, clean ingredients because there aren’t enough effective options available on the market today.
A Prop 65 warning does not necessarily mean a product is unsafe
A recent Los Angeles Times investigation found that Prop 65 ironically leaves “shoppers over-warned, under-informed and potentially unprotected.”
First off, Prop 65 is not a product safety law; it’s a right-to-know law, which means we’re required to inform the public that a chemical from the Prop 65 list is present in a product, even if in trace amounts. Second, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) states:
“A Proposition 65 warning does not necessarily mean that a product is in violation of any product-safety standards or requirements.”
It’s a painful irony to have to include Prop 65 cancer warnings on our cannabis skincare products when they are literally among only a handful of the cleanest and safest available today — with proof no less, in our posted COAs.
So why do foods containing naturally-occurring myrcene like pomegranates and mangoes not require Prop 65 labels, but products containing naturally-occurring myrcene from the cannabis plant do? The short answer is that fruit is classified by the government as “food,” while cannabis is not. Section § 25501 of the California Code of Regulations — “Exposure to a Naturally Occurring Chemical in a Food” — exempts fruits and food from the Prop 65 warning requirements.
We’re glad foods are exempt. Putting cancer warnings on carrots would be absurd. We think it’s equally absurd to require it on natural cannabis plant products, especially those that aren’t ingested or smoked . . . such as our skincare.
Take the warning with a grain of salt. We appreciate the efforts of our lawmakers’ to keep us safe. We also recognize that some of these efforts have the unintended consequence of labeling healthy, healing ingredients as potentially hazardous. Topically-applied creams and oils infused with organic plants and cannabis are not dangerous. Green Bee Botanicals products are safe, pure, clean, and good for you. We use them ourselves. Our families use them. We care about the health of our customers, and go to great lengths to keep you safe. You can always read the test results of each product to verify.
What to actually worry about?
There’s plenty of other ingredients to be wary of with personal care products. And if you have any questions about testing, safety, or want to talk about California regulations, or cosmetic safety, we are just a phone call, email, or DM away!