Laboratories in Oregon claim that their marijuana supply undergoes more testing than food, in addition to being safer than most food products for consumers. This month, a bunch of labs have received their accreditation to start testing and working with cannabis. Within the United States, Oregon has the most rigorous standards regarding marijuana. A laboratory worker, Molly Lyons, points out “Residual solvents, terpenes, and pesticides over there”, referring to all the different machines and products they use to test the large number of cannabis samples on a daily basis.
One of the first accredited marijuana labs, GreenHaus Analytical Labs, tests a large number of samples from each harvest of marijuana along with the contents of that marijuana such as the oil to make sure they are up to standard. From there, the oil can also be tested for levels of pesticides, mold, and THC content. GreenHaus also tests the edibles that have been made with the marijuana to make sure that each edible does not go over the 15mg THC limit enforced by the state. In the event that a product fails to pass two tests, it cannot be sold to the public and the money invested in growing the cannabis used to make the product is lost.
“If you can’t sell your product, that’s a big motivator to find a new product that is safe and possibly organic so you can pass your test and have your product on the shelf,” Lyons said. “I could only wish our food was tested to the highest standards as cannabis.”
Lyons also states that the restrictions set in place by the state offer consumers peace of mind and allows them to know that the products they are consuming are of the highest quality.
“There’s a lot of people who have never consumed cannabis and now that it’s legal, they want to try it for all different reasons, and they need to know what they’re consuming,” Lyons said.
The test that gets failed most frequently is the test for pesticides, failing around 25-30% of all samples.
“When we first started testing for the full panel of pesticides, customers were upset about those fails. I think it helped push them in the right direction before stricter laws came to be.”
Lyons also claims that Oregon’s high level of rainfall and long rainy seasons increases the likelihood of finding mold in marijuana grown outdoors. The difference being that if you were growing tomatoes, you would spray something on it to prevent mold, however marijuana growers are shifting to growing organic and choose not to use pesticides, leading to a safer product for consumers.
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