The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) recently announced significant changes to the regulations for cannabis testing. These rules will supersede the temporary regulations put in place in October 2016, which reduced the testing regulations to just one-third of the batches of marijuana. These new, permanent regulations went into effect on Aug. 30, 2017, and they will affect every cannabis producer and distributor in the state.

New Cannabis Testing Regulations

In October 2016, the OLCC temporarily lowered the pesticide testing regulations because, at the time, there were fewer than five authorized test labs available in the state. This lack of testing labs created a huge backlog, which in turn hindered the availability of cannabis on the market.

After careful review and a series of public input sessions, the OLCC believes the issue of insufficient lab capacity is no longer a problem. First, there are now twice as many qualified testing labs in the state. Secondly, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) updated its testing regulations. This update now allows testing facilities to test 50 percent more cannabis per batch. Together, these changes will speed up the testing process and prevent the backlog problem.

In light of these developments, the OLCC, as of Aug. 30, 2017, now mandates that every batch of cannabis intended for sale to consumers in Oregon must be tested for pesticide contamination at a laboratory licensed through the OLCC and accredited by the ORELAP. These new regulations now make Oregon the toughest state in the country when it comes to pesticide testing.

What the New Regulations Mean

The new regulations mean that all cannabis, both for medical and recreational purposes, in the state of Oregon must be tested and approved before being sold. If a batch of cannabis fails the pesticide test, the producer has the opportunity to request a retest. However, if the batch of cannabis fails for the second time, the marijuana will be destroyed after receiving permission from the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. These testing requirements are likely to slow down the time it takes for cannabis to go from the producer to the dispensary or retail store.

The good news is that consumers can now feel secure in knowing that the cannabis they purchase in the state of Oregon is pesticide-free. This is especially beneficial for those requiring cannabis for medical purposes since the presence of pesticides could have an adverse effect on their medical condition.

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