Oregon Laboratory Blues
During October, I have been covering the changes to Oregon’s legal, regulated cannabis system for Cannabis Business Executive. I discussed the slow rollout of the recreational system, as well as some significant changes to the medical rules. But the most disruptive change, the one that threatens to bring down the entire industry, implicates both the medical and recreational programs. I’m referring, of course, to the new Oregon cannabis lab testing rules.
I believe strongly that as purveyors of cannabis—growers, processors, retailers and others—we owe it to the public to be as certain as possible that our products are safe to consume. Quality control testing by analytical laboratories plays a major role in assuring public safety, along with a number of other checks and balances, including site inspections, prohibited pesticide lists, ongoing education, and development of best practices.
The state also has a duty to assure public safety, which includes creating rules for testing cannabis. These rules must be reasonable, effective, grounded in science, and not so expensive that they become cost prohibitive for the industry. Unfortunately in an effort to make Oregon cannabis the safest in the world, the state has gone too far.
The current situation is dire and the potential costs are high. This testing regime presents an existential threat to Oregon’s cannabis industry and we are already seeing commerce begin to grind to a halt. The wholesale cost of flower has increased by hundreds of dollars per pound, but processors are being hit hardest. The cost of testing actually makes it impossible to bring most extracts and edibles to market.
Click here to read more about the new lab testing rules in Cannabis Business Executive.