Oregon pot shops running low on product, blame new testing stand - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon pot shops running low on product, blame new testing standards

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More than two years after Oregon signed into law legal recreational marijuana, store shelves are running empty and prices have gone up as much as 40 percent in some cases.

One industry expert says the state could lose out on as much as $10 million in tax revenue in the last quarter of 2016.

The reason, marijuana advocates say is due to new pesticide testing regulations that go into effect on October 1.

Shop owners say the bar for testing standards have been set too high and there aren’t enough facilities to do the amount of testing needed.

Donald Morse is one of the owners of the Human Collective in southwest Portland. 

“This case was full,” Morse said. “It is now virtually empty. We’re selling retail merchandise here now, socks and rolling papers and things like that.”

Human Collective is one of several dispensary’s across the state of Oregon trying to get their hands on product to sell.

The lack of product on store shelves is not just having an impact on customer choice but shop employees as well. 

“If you talk to any other dispensary, or processor, or whatever, edible maker, they are going to tell you they’ve either shutdown or they have laid off most of their staff,” Morse said.

He says his shop has cut hours for employees because limited product means limited business.

The Oregon Health Authority says the testing requirements were put in place to protect the public from consuming pesticides. The state currently has six labs that are accredited to do such tests. They test everything from marijuana flowers to oils.

In recent months, the OHA has issued several recalls across the state because certain products tested higher than the new pesticide standards. 

A spokesperson for OHA told FOX 12 Thursday afternoon that some sort of announcement would be coming regarding testing as soon as Friday. What that announcement could be is unknown at this time.

Those in the industry, like Morse, hope some of the testing restrictions will be eased.

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