By Danica Foster and Jarell Hunt
Cannabis businesses will soon face new testing requirements for nearly all cannabis products sold in the Oregon market. This is good news for consumers and businesses alike as the requirements will loosen some of the more stringent sampling requirements previously in place, while also ensuring that Oregon’s testing requirements match those in other legalized states. Most of the changes are staged to be implemented over the course of the next year, giving cannabis businesses time to adjust and prepare.
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) sets the testing standards for cannabis products in Oregon and, as recently announced by OHA, the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) will enforce these requirements for any cannabis businesses selling into the Oregon market.
It is important to note the specific dates in which the new testing requirements will go into effect, and that they vary depending on type of cannabis product and test. OHA has created a detailed guide and timeline to check which tests will be required and when. Please consult with your legal counsel if you have questions about how these new requirements will affect your business.
New Tests Required
Starting July 1, 2022 all marijuana items will be tested for mycotoxins. This requirement applies to all usable marijuana or marijuana items harvested or manufactured after this date, including items within the newly created category of “finished inhalable cannabinoid products,” such as pre-rolls and inhalable cannabinoid products with non-cannabis additives. In March 2023, testing for heavy metals and microbiological containments will also be required.
New Sampling/Batch Size Requirements
OHA has made a number of changes to the sampling requirements, primarily enlarging the size of batches that can be sampled from. For example, starting on July 1, 2022, the batch size for usable marijuana rises from 10 lbs to 50 lbs, and the “harvest lot” is expanded to include materials harvested within a seven-day window, rather than the previously stipulated 72-hour window.
As a result of the expanded sampling/lot size requirements, OHA is ending the practice of allowing “control” studies. Control studies used to allow product manufacturers to have reduced sampling requirements, when they could demonstrate certain levels of consistency and homogeneity in their manufacturing processes. Now, all producers and manufacturers will have to have the same amount of sampling and testing performed.
Updated Laboratory Requirements
Effective March 31, 2022, cannabis testing laboratories are subject to: new requirements for quality control samples for microbiological and chemical tests, a new requirement expanding the scope of the limits of quantification to apply to all matrices, and new reporting requirements. The OHA laboratories page includes helpful information and other resources.
Questions? Please contact Jarell Hunt, or any of the other attorneys in Tonkon Torp’s Cannabis Industry Group. This update is prepared for the general information of our clients and friends. It should not be regarded as legal advice.