September 8, 2016

Oregon: Agency Charged with Accrediting Cannabis Testing Labs is On the ‘Verge of Collapse’

September 8, 2016
Cannabis Testing Labs
According to the Oregonian there is a sticky situation going on with Oregon’s cannabis testing labs.
The administrator of a state program charged with making sure marijuana labs are accredited said the Oregon Health Authority has ignored his pleas for resources and that the agency is “on the verge of collapse.”
Gary Ward, administrator of the Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program, detailed the crisis facing the agency in a memo sent last week to the health authority. The accreditation program is a division of the health authority.
He said his agency, which also accredits labs that test drinking water, was initially assured resources to implement state-mandated cannabis testing accreditation, but “so far we have received zero” support from the health authority.
The staffing shortage has potentially dire implications for the state’s marijuana industry. Starting Oct. 1, new products headed to marijuana dispensary shelves will have to undergo a battery of tests at accredited labs. Those tests will assess potency and look for biological contaminants such as E. coli, residual solvents from the extraction process used to make oil, and dozens of pesticides.
The policy shift transforms Oregon’s marijuana labs from an unregulated cottage industry into a central part of the state’s regulated market. The state’s new testing standards are intended to address pesticide contamination, which remains a concern in Oregon and in other states with legal pot markets.
The slow pace of lab accreditation means consumers may see fewer products on store shelves when the state rolls out its recreational marijuana market next month.
Read more courtesy of The Oregonian here:


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