Beginning August 30, 2017, Oregon now requires all cannabis product batches be tested for pesticides according to the the Oregon Health Authority. The temporary rules that had governed testing for pesticides expired and now the permanent rules are in place and must be followed. The requirement also applies to untested product that was collected for sampling before August 30.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission issued a notice on August 11th explaining the change:
“In October 2016, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission issued a finding that the pesticide testing requirement would be lowered to a minimum of one-third of batches of usable marijuana within every harvest lot, due to insufficient lab capacity.
Since that time, significant changes have occurred that have increased the lab testing capacity to ensure a steady flow of product through the supply chain. Last October, fewer than five labs were accredited to test for pesticides; today there are nearly ten such labs. Additionally, the Oregon Health Authority’s most recent testing rules increased by 50% the amount of usable marijuana that can be tested together in a batch.”
Earlier this year, the state proposed possible changes to testing protocols for cannabis and sought public input. The public overwhelming responded to keep the testing rules as they were to help protect the public from contaminated products.
In May the Oregon Health Authority, the agency that oversees pesticide testing and cannabis safety, released the new rules that would go into effect on August 30. Some of those provisions were temporary and have expired.
Beginning today, August 30, 2017, every batch of usable marijuana (flower and leaves) must be tested directly for pesticides according to the Oregon Health Authority’s testing rules in order to be compliant. This includes untested product that was collected for sampling prior to August 30.
Some temporary rules regarding the sampling and testing of usable marijuana have expired, and Oregon Liquor Control Commission Recreational Marijuana Program licensees are required to follow updated OLCC and Oregon Health Authority rules.
This reminder follows an August 11, 2017 OLCC Compliance Bulletin CE2017-09 sent to Recreational Marijuana Program producer and laboratory licensees explaining the rules adjustment. The bulletin is also posted on the OLCC Recreational Marijuana Program website.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission issued an order to limit pesticide testing of usable marijuana meant for retail sale to consumers on October 3, 2016. At that time, OLCC staff found that there was insufficient lab capacity for 100% batch testing of usable marijuana for pesticides. On March 3, 2016, the Commission made a similar determination and extended temporary rules to allow for the continued practice of testing one-third of the batches.
The Commission recently examined the issue and determined that limited lab capacity issues that existed in October of 2016 have been mitigated. Lab testing capacity has increased to ensure a steady flow of product through the supply chain. Last October, fewer than five labs were accredited to test for pesticides; today there is more than double the capacity. Additionally, the Oregon Health Authority’s most recent testing rules increased by 50% the amount of usable marijuana that can be tested together in a batch.
More information can be found on the OHA medical marijuana website.
The Commission will continue to monitor market flow and respond to any issues that arise with the expiration of the temporary rule.