New OR Testing Rules: Too Stringent?

Lawmakers in Oregon hope that new rules for testing marijuana will prevent mold, pesticides and mildew from being ingested or smoked by patients with weak immune systems.

But marijuana growers and horticulturalists there worry that the testing standards could be too stringent. The current standards prohibit the use of some pesticides that are allowed in traditional organic farming, and they only allow tiny amounts of mold and mildew.

Todd Dalotto, a horticulture researcher, said he is concerned that the only forms of marijuana that will meet the standards are synthetic forms of THC found in prescription drugs.

Oregon’s Health Authority had previously agreed to use a compendium of scientific information about marijuana produced by the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia as a guide for its testing standards. But the latest version of Oregon’s rules is instead based on the U.S. Pharmacopeia, which is used to regulate synthetic pharmaceutical drugs, which are highly refined.

Under the new rules, labs will test for four broad categories of pesticides, replacing the old version which included 20 specific pesticides. The broad test would eliminate the use of pesticides commonly used by growers.

Not everyone opposes the testing, however. Rowshan Reordan, owner of the Green Leaf Lab in Portland, said the new protocols allows for cost-effective testing.