Cannabis product testing lab in Oregon forced to halt operations

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

Oregon regulators suspended the license of a marijuana testing lab for a series of violations, most of which predate the facility’s destruction earlier this month by the Almeda wildfire.

The order by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) bans Ecotest Labs from operating until further notice, saying the operation poses a “serious danger to the public health and safety.”

The commission said it identified at least 160 licensees that received marijuana product tested for potency by Ecotest since Aug. 21, and the agency will work with those licensees to have the product retested.

The company couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.

Ecotest first ran into trouble in late July with the Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ORELAP) for allegedly failing to meet required testing procedures and standards, according to the news release announcing the OLCC’s suspension of the lab.

ORELAP also suspected that:

  • Testing equipment had been relocated from Ecotest’s licensed facility in Phoenix, Oregon, to an unlicensed location in Hillsboro.
  • Test results were being entered into the state’s tracking system.

In response, the OLCC launched an investigation. Inspectors were told by company officials that they had transferred product to the Hillsboro location starting in mid-August “while justifying incorrectly that ORELAP rules allowed for such transfers.”

The commission and ORELAP informed Ecotest that the activity was not permissible, but the company allegedly continued to use the unlicensed, unaccredited Hillsboro facility.

Then, earlier this month, the Almeda fire destroyed Ecotest’s licensed lab in Phoenix, and the company informed the OLCC that it had the right to permanently move its lab operations to the unlicensed Hillsboro location.

The commission disagreed with Ecotest and suspended the operation.

But it’s unclear what ultimately will happen, because the commission says it will be working to help recreational marijuana licensees impacted by the wildfire, including expediting relocations.