Oregon eases cannabis testing rules, but is it enough?

Oregon regulators have eased marijuana testing rules that retailers and other industry professionals say held up supply, forced prices upward and drove some businesses to close.

But some industry professionals say the revised rules don’t address the main problem areas.

Among the changes outlined Friday in two pages of revised rules – which are temporary and valid through May 30, 2017 – the Oregon Health Authority said it would permit cannabis businesses to have larger and more varied sample sizes tested at one time, the Bend Bulletin reported. The OHA, which oversees marijuana analysis, made the changes in hopes of lowering testing time and costs.

However, the changes don’t address issues related to testing pesticides, such as chemical levels, which played a significant role in many failed tests and resulted in the supply shortage.

“After talking to many of the clients that I work with, it is very clear that not only do (the revisions) not go far enough, they negatively impact our edibles makers and our processors,” Amy Margolis, a prominent marijuana attorney, told the Portland Business Journal.

Also on Friday, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which oversees Oregon’s adult-use program, said it would process more than 900 applications for recreation businesses submitted by Nov. 30 so that license recipients can operate under regulations that go into effect in 2017.

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6 comments on “Oregon eases cannabis testing rules, but is it enough?
  1. Legal420 on

    I believe that the testing rules should remain stringent to protect REAL cannabis growers/ producers. Someone who produces clean organic cannabis does not have pesticide and mold problems . Lightening the testing rules will only put tainted medicine on dispensary shelves.. And benefit the grower/prodicers who have no idea how to properly grow an cure marijuana .. Beware of dispensary cannabis ….

    • Matthew Cheselka on

      I agree with Legal420. Many of the tests that are currently required are checking and validating the production process by using chemistry. Ridiculous! Checking for pesticides, bacteria/mold/fungi, etc. SHOULD be done by requiring SOPs, QA/QC, and other means of *process* validation. Testing labs should NOT be forced to be the policemen for growers and manufacturers! Let the labs do what they’re good at — science!

    • Nick Palazzo on

      I wholeheartedly agree with your premise that Oregon should have the CLEANEST cannabis in the market. But, a zero pesticide level on cannabis–particularly outdoor grown cannabis–is not the solution. And, this is why:
      Our nation’s soil is contaminated with pesticides. Even pollen from the air was studied, and it all contains pesticides at the DNA level. This is not new. Expecting soil-grown cannabis to be pesticide-free is entirely unrealistic and it shows very little knowledge of facts from OHA’s part, since any plant will absorb nutrients AND pesticides along with it, form our mother earth’s/American-pesticide-ridden soil (how sad that we allowed industry to ruin our land.)

      We have been consuming cannabis for decades under the status quo. Why this now? Why not start to lower the thresholds on pesticide levels in cannabis in a slow, manageable way? Why paralyze the entire industry in the state to prove an utopian case?

      We have been EATING these pesticides in our food for years, which to me sounds even worse.

      Now they are worried about pesticides in cannabis?

    • Mark Feldman on

      Stop being misinformed. There was testing. Then the labs advised testing for a bunch of banned chemicals no on uses or has heard of but cost a lot to test. Testing for mold ended months ago. They stopped requiring that affordable test. The tolerance levels are so low that there is a 50% false positive rate. Nothing is at ABSOLUTE zero ever. Not even the air. And they require too many tests and at too many stages of manufacturing. It’s redundant. And no other ingestible or inhaled commodity has messed up tests like this. Oregon dropped the ball and the new tweak does nothing. Contact the OHA and let them know how you feel.

  2. sharon randall on

    Oregon has only licensed 4 labs and that’s the main hold up. I’ve also been told if your clone of a clone of a clone had a pesticide used in it 5 generations back, your pot won’t clear the test. it’s too stringent because it’s not realistic, not because the growers are trying to get away with using harsh chemicals.

  3. Jenny on

    What isn’t addressed here is the repercussions of the rules.

    In Oregon, a lot (and I mean A LOT) of product is ending up on the illegal market since the rules state if you fail, they will destroy that batch of your crop. Scared growers are resorting to selling in the illegal market to make money and survive.

    On one hand, we need stringent rules to maintain quality standards, on the other hand, the state needs to anticipate fall out from their decisions. There is a balance that we will get to, it’ll just take time.

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