Though all concentrates and edibles in Oregon are required to be quality tested before they hit the shelves, the state has only 18 accredited and approved cannabis laws, four four of which are approved for necessary pesticide tests. Concentrate companies in the state are complaining that they are being forced to wait indefinite periods of time for product testing, pay exorbitant amounts for lab work, stockpile untested goods, and layoff employees in order to comply with laws.
The backup of testing has forced one extraction company, Lunchbox Alchemy out of Bend, to cease production on its extracts and edibles and put 60,000 of its cannabis-infused candies into warehouse storage. Owner Cameron Yee told Oregon Live that he may have to layoff his 35 employees within the next week if things don’t change soon.
“This is not a joke,” he said. “We followed all of their rules. If you follow their rules, you cannot succeed. I don’t think I am going to make it out of this.”
With a very limited number of accredited laboratories, businesspeople such as Triska Okel, owner of topical company Empower Oil, said she had trouble even getting laboratories on the phone, and when she did they told her she wouldn’t be able to test her product for weeks. Like Yee, Okel has had to suspend the production of many of her goods. “At this point I am waiting to see what happens,” she said.
It also seems that scarcity is driving up prices for testing facilities. “What would have cost $125 is now into the thousands,” Norris Monson of Cultivated Industries told Oregon Live.
Authorities aren’t prepared to modify their demands as of yet. The Oregon Liquor Control Commision, which oversees the state’s recreational cannabis market, is holding a meeting Wednesday to discuss the problems. According Steven Marks, the agency’s executive director, they intend to separate “fact from fiction” and “won’t give up” until the state has “the most rigorously tested protocol in place in the country.”