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Oregon Eases Up on Testing Regulations as Local Pot Industry Complains

Maureen Meehan

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Oregon has the only mandatory preemptive pesticide testing regulations in the country. The problem is that the testing is complicated and time-consuming, and it’s hurting, not helping, the industry.

But the government has stepped in and agreed to make some changes.

The Oregon Health Authority has announced that it will adopt “temporary testing rules aimed at lowering the testing burden for producers and processors based on concerns and input from the marijuana industry.”

Isn’t it nice when someone in government responds to the concerns and input of the pot industry? That’s Oregon for you.

“The governor has been clear about the importance of the marijuana industry to Oregon’s economy,” Jeff Rhodes, marijuana policy adviser for Governor Kate Brown, said in the Health Authority statement. “This approach keeps Oregonians employed, prevents marijuana product from slipping back into the illegal market and continues to protect public health and safety.”

The announcement was music to dispensary owners’ ears, as well as to consumers who were walking into half-stocked shops.

Testing that should take five days was taking to up to 21 days. Stock was dropping, and prices were rising—and there was a huge testing backlog.

While other states with legal weed, like Washington and Colorado, have rules for pesticide use, Oregon is the only state that requires pre-sale testing.

Rodger Voelker, director of one of the pesticide testing labs, called the delays a temporary growing pain of a new industry.

“These things are expected of any industry where people are putting things in their mouth,” Voelker told AP last week.

Others, like attorney Amy Margolis, said the cumbersome regulations were making it “very difficult for people to operate in the regulated market.”

Anyhow, the new testing rules should help relieve the bottleneck in the labs and hopefully get the reefer onto the shelves where it belongs—just in time for the holidays.

You can keep up with all of HIGH TIMES’ marijuana news right here.

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