Oregon to change state testing standards for marijuana - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon to change state testing standards for marijuana

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Following reports of new marijuana testing regulations being cumbersome and leading to some processing plants ceasing operations and furloughing workers, state officials announced new testing standards Friday.

The issue stems from rules that became enforceable on October 1 that industry leaders said were driving up prices for consumers and creating product shortages.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, 307 samples failed for either pesticides, solvents or both since the new testing began just over a month ago.

The new temporary rules cuts down the numbers of tests that samples have to go through as well as changes the nature of some of the testing.

Jeff Rhoades, Governor Kate Brown’s marijuana policy adviser, said these moves will not only help the industry economically but will also make sure the products used by Oregon consumers are safe.

"The Governor has been clear about the importance of the marijuana industry to Oregon's economy," he said. "This approach keeps Oregonians employed, prevents marijuana product from slipping back into the illegal market, and continues to protect public health and safety."

Andre Ourso, who is the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program manager for the OHA, also thinks this solution balances user safety and industry regulation.

"OHA understood the difficult situation that cannabis producers and growers were in with regard to the authority's Oct 1. testing regulations," Ourso said. "OHA looks forward to working with the Governor's Office and its sister agencies in developing permanent testing rules in the near future that protect the public from harmful substances, such as illegal pesticides, yet allow for the cannabis industry to succeed in a robust regulatory environment."

For a full description on the changes to the regulations, visit HealthOregon.org/ommp.

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