‘No need for the initial testing’: Will state modify medical marijuana testing standards?

KOKH - June 13, 2024 5:49 am

Should Oklahoma lower the required number of safety tests for medical marijuana products?

That’s the question before Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) after lawmakers passed a bill that would modify current standards.

State Rep. Scott Fetgatter (R-Okmulgee) asserted the legislation seeks to cut red tape and unnecessary regulations and to help out legitimate Oklahoma businesses.

He shared that medical marijuana products currently have to go through two to four rounds of testing before making their way to consumers.

Laboratories examine the products for substances like heavy metals and pesticides.

Senate Bill 1635 includes a measure that would require testing only right before the product hits stores.

According to Brandon Fountain, sales director for Oklahoma Compliance Testing Lab, LLC, industry operators are debating the merits of the legislation.

“There’s a lot of growers and processors that feel like there’s no need for the initial testing because the final product has to be tested anyways. And there are probably some that would oppose that,” he explained.

Rep. Fetgatter spoke on behalf of his house colleague State Rep. T.J. Marti (R-Broken Arrow), the Oklahoma House author of the bill.

“All government should be worried about, in my opinion, and in T.J.’s opinion, is what is going on the shelf, that is being sold to consumers and citizens across the state,” noted Rep. Fetgatter.

He added that the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority will conduct random spot tests to further strengthen safety measures.

In his view, Oklahoma can lower process costs while keeping consumers safe.

Fountain argued that a lack of standards across testing statewide has caused issues in the past.

“The lack of trust that people have on products. Because there has, we’ve definitely seem some stuff that would raise some eyebrows,” he shared.

As of Jun. 1, new standards came into effect in Oklahoma to help assure product safety.

On Monday, the OMMA released a list of recalled products showing the presence of the pesticide permethrin.

According to the National Pesticide Information Center, permethrin can cause abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting when eaten.

The governor has until Friday to sign the bill sitting on his desk into law. A lack of action would constitute a default, pocket veto.


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