The following letter was submitted to the OLCC, OHA, and Oregon Legislature from the various participants in the cannabis industry. Please read it over and then call, write, email, visit your legislators and make sure that they know how important we in the industry believe thorough testing for cannabis is.
TO: Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Liquor Control
Commission, and Oregon Legislature
We are OLCC Processors, Producers, and Retailers writing to you today
in regards to the pesticide testing requirements currently being discussed at
the OHA Rules Advisory Committee. Certain members of the industry are
advocating lessening the requirements for pesticide testing, and we believe
this would be a catastrophic mistake for many reasons.
The cannabis industry has a problem with pesticides. The industry has
relied on poor practices for far too long, and the current testing
requirements are only now shining a light on the residual pesticides leftover
in cannabis products. Everyone remembers the Oregonian article of 2015 that
highlighted the extreme number of products being sold over the counter
which failed compliance testing when checked by an independent and
reputable laboratory*. This article helped push lawmakers to regulate labs,
create more stringent pesticide testing, and demand that we as cannabis
business owners evolve with the industry, and develop clean and responsible
techniques for production. Recently an investigative report in California
which took over 40 samples from 15 dispensaries found 93% of products
tested positive for toxic pesticides*.
Currently over 25% of concentrates and extracts are failing testing
requirements for pesticides. The prevalence of these toxic chemicals is a
warning sign to you as regulators, that the industry needs cleaning up.
Reducing pesticide testing limits will allow large amounts of toxic products
to make their way to market, and inevitably compromise the health and
safety of untold number of Oregonians.
The narrative that you have been hearing from opponents of these
regulations would have you believe that there is no way to produce cannabis
on a commercial level with rigorous pesticide testing. This is not true, and
this myth is being promoted because of business owners who are now caught
with tainted product due to unsafe practices. We as cannabis business owners
are writing to you today to tell you that there are simple means of
production without using banned pesticides, and many companies in Oregon
are successfully passing testing requirements with all of their products.
We urge you to act responsibly, and to do what is right for the
consumers of Oregon. Do not bend to industry pressure. The fate of a few
cannabis companies caught with tainted product should not be prioritized
over the hundreds of thousands of cannabis consumers in Oregon. The
people of Oregon deserve clean and reliably safe products.
Thank you for your attention.