- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Though marijuana products sold in Oregon will have to undergo testing for pesticides beginning this spring, some scientists are pushing for testing in the interim.

Until the new rules take effect, the state plans to allow the marijuana industry to continue to operate as it does now. In June, tougher regulations will require marijuana to be tested for nearly 60 pesticides, The Oregonian reports (https://is.gd/GEssqK).

The Oregon Health Authority has signaled it is willing to consider tightening current regulations. Scientist Mowgli Holmes, who owns Phylos Bioscience, spoke to the authority on Monday asking that they increase the number of chemicals marijuana is currently tested for from four to 10 or 12.

“The problem is these pesticide testing rules don’t make any sense and can’t be followed,” Holmes said. “Stuff is going onto the shelves and it looks like they have been testing for pesticides and it hasn’t been tested for pesticides.”

Health authority encouraged Holmes to submit his proposed changes to the state for review. Officials are in the process of drafting rules for medical marijuana dispensaries, grow sites, labeling and testing, among other things.



The June rule requiring marijuana products to be tested is a radical shift in how the state is dealing with the pot industry. Labs that perform tests will have to be accredited by the state, a rigorous process designed to ensure they are using appropriate equipment and methods.

Holmes said because the new rules don’t take effect for so long, pesticide-laced products are entering the medical marijuana market.

“We would really like to see some intermediate step that gets pesticides out of the system,” he said.

Rodger Voelker, a chemist at OG Analytical, a Eugene-based marijuana testing lab, said he understands the push for tougher standards now, but that accreditation is a time-consuming process. He said without accredited labs, tougher rules won’t mean anything. Still, he says it is concerning that the system is just going to idle until June.

“It really bothers me that this whole thing is just going to continue as it is,” he said. “We have seen no changes.”

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Information from: The Oregonian, https://www.oregonlive.com

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