NEWS BRIEF

Oklahoma to license cannabis labs, but businesses must test batches

Oklahoma medical marijuana, Oklahoma to license cannabis labs, but businesses must test batches

Medical marijuana regulators in Oklahoma are close to licensing testing laboratories, but MMJ growers and processors in what had been a lightly regulated market have been required to test product batches for pesticides and potency for nearly two months.

State regulators said they would begin accepting lab applications on Nov. 1.

Melissa Miller, assistant director of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, wrote in an email to Marijuana Business Daily that the state has up to 90 business days to review the lab applications, “but we anticipate that we will begin issuing licenses in the next 1-3 months.”

The state hasn’t put a limit on the number of lab or MMJ business licenses that could be issued.

Even though Oklahoma has no licensed labs, product testing went into effect Aug. 30 as a result of legislation passed earlier this year that detailed compliance measures found in other U.S. markets.

Growers and processors must test product batches for pesticides, THC and terpene potency as well as heavy metals before sale, transfer or processing.

Miller wrote that growers and processors were encouraged to take their product batches to existing laboratories in the state with a national accreditation.

She indicated the state is monitoring the situation.

“Inspectors are looking for documentation of testing results now, it’s just that the testing does not currently have to be done with a lab that is licensed with us,” Miller wrote.

Edibles processors are required to obtain a separate food license and test their products.

Seed-to-sale tracking is somewhat similar.

The state doesn’t expect to select a vendor until early 2020.

In the meantime, Oklahoma medical cannabis businesses were required since August to have an inventory tracking system in place capable of integrating with the state seed-to-sale system when it becomes operational.

The 2019 Marijuana Business Factbook projects medical cannabis sales in Oklahoma to reach $140 million-$180 million this year.

Jeff Smith can be reached at [email protected]

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