The Oregon Court of Appeals called for a temporary halt to a new marijuana lab-testing requirement for aspergillus, a type of mold that has led to recalls in several legal cannabis markets.
Oregon marijuana cultivators warned that if the state’s new “zero-tolerance” mandate for aspergillus went into force, it would put them out of business, Portland TV station KOIN reported.
The decision is effective immediately, and cultivators told KOIN they’re relieved considering the outdoor cannabis harvest is near.
The court wrote in its ruling that state regulators should have looked for a more flexible way of regulating the mold.
In the ruling, according to Willamette Week, the court said it “… considered the irreparable harm to petitioners in the absence of a stay, petitioners’ likelihood of success on the merits, and the risk of harm to the public if a stay is granted and, in light of those considerations, concludes that a stay of enforcement of the Aspergillus Testing Rule is appropriate in this case.”
The ruling will remain in place until a lawsuit filed in July by cultivators against the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is settled.
The lawsuit was filed after the regulator said it would enforce a total ban on any amount of four types of the mold detected in cannabis products, KOIN reported.
At the heart of the issue is the uncertainty about the health and safety impacts of the mold on consumers.
It’s a question many state cannabis regulators and producers are grappling with.
Cannabis products found to have aspergillus were recalled three times in Arizona so far this year.
California’s cannabis regulators have also recalled products containing the mold.
No illnesses related to the recalls were reported in those cases, but the mold is believed to be harmful to immunocompromised people.