The State of Oregon has recently stepped up its enforcement of marijuana production regulations and guidelines. On September 30, 2020, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), the regulatory body in charge of marijuana production and licensing, suspended the recreational license of a local laboratory. The suspension comes after it was determined by OLCC that the licensee (holder of the license) was conducting testing of marijuana-related products at an unlicensed facility. The Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ORELAP) conducted an investigation after it discovered that the licensee had relocated some of its testing equipment from a licensed facility to a non-licensed location.
The licensee reportedly lost one of its licensed labs in Phoenix due to wildfires. The licensee believed that because the loss was due to a wildfire, it could relocate its lab facilities to an unlicensed location without OLCC approval. This turned out to be incorrect. Both OLCC and ORELAP informed the licensee of its inaccurate interpretation of the regulations. Still, the licensee continued to operate at the unlicensed facility with full knowledge that it was violating OLCC regulations. The OLCC also notes that some of the violations charged to the licensee occurred before the licensee was impacted by the wildfires. Based on the initial investigation, the OLCC determined that there was enough evidence to warrant the immediate suspension of the licensee’s laboratory license. The OLCC investigation is continuing, and the licensee is entitled to exercise their administrative hearing rights to challenge the OLCC’s actions.
In Oregon, marijuana testing and production has strict guidelines that must be followed by licensees in order to retain continued licensing by the state. The OLCC has established safeguards meant to protect those consumers who are relying on growers and manufacturers to deliver them safe and effective marijuana products. In particular, medical marijuana patients are often prescribed specific strains and concentrations of THC products. The OLCC’s guidelines help ensure that the cannabis sold at the dispensary contains exactly what the manufacturer claims it does. Unverified or unreliable laboratory testing could result in unsuitable or even harmful batches of marijuana products.
All marijuana licensees should become aware of the OLCC guidelines and follow them accordingly.