Oregon lab accreditation problems could delay rec cannabis rollout

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The full rollout of Oregon’s much-anticipated recreational cannabis industry next month could be delayed owing to problems with the accreditation of marijuana testing labs.

The Register-Guard reported that the Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program, or ORELAP, is overworked and understaffed. That means the agency may not be able to accredit enough labs to satisfy required testing for rec products in time for the industry to begin full adult-use sales.

In addition to cannabis, ORELAP oversees water and other health laboratory testing in Oregon.

“We are on the precipice of collapse of environmental, drinking water, and cannabis accreditation because of the lack of resources and the last minute rush of cannabis labs with applications,” the ORELAP administrator, Gary Ward, wrote in an email to the Oregon Health Authority, the Register-Guard reported.

Ward added that his department requested three full-time employees to help with the task of accrediting cannabis testing labs, “and have received none.”

Additionally, many testing labs are having a hard time meeting new state requirements, which will necessitate two to three “on-site visits of many cannabis labs before we can completely approve accreditation,” Ward wrote.