Marijuana Products Recalled In Oregon, Lab Loses License
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is issuing an immediate health and safety recall after identifying pesticide-contaminated marijuana products sold through OLCC recreational marijuana licensed retailers. The OLCC has notified retailers to place a hold on all affected products.
The marijuana flower and extract products initially failed pesticide testing (for the analyte Abamectin) with a subcontracted laboratory, but the primary lab – Ecotest – marked that it passed testing in March 2020. The OLCC in September 2020 issued an immediate license suspension to Ecotest due to a number of violations, including the loss of accreditation from the Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ORELAP) for failing to meet required testing procedures and standards. Later, the OLCC formally canceled Ecotest’s license.
The contaminated marijuana originally entered the Oregon market from a medical grower transferring it into the OLCC regulated system. Oregon Medical Marijuana Program growers are allowed, with prior approval, to sell no more than 20 pounds of marijuana flower annually into the recreational system.
The contaminated product includes several strains of marijuana flower pre-rolls, and “Purple Slurry” extract. Due to the incorrect entry of results by Ecotest, when making the “Purple Slurry Extract” with this contaminated product, the processor was unaware of its contamination. This contaminated product was mixed with marijuana flower from other sources when the extract was made; after it was processed from flower into extract, the finished product subsequently passed pesticide testing. Under Oregon Health Authority rules, however, usable marijuana that has failed pesticide testing cannot be remediated or used in a processed item.
The contamination issue was reported to OLCC on Dec. 29, 2020 by a second processor whose extract product failed pesticide testing; their product was never sold to consumers. Using data from the Cannabis Tracking System, OLCC staff were able to verify the failed subcontracted test, trace the affected items in the system, and issue guidance to licensees to set aside the contaminated product.
Consumers who have these recalled products should dispose of the products or return them to the retailer where they were purchased.
There have been no reports of illness. The possible health impact of consuming marijuana products with unapproved pesticide residues is unknown. Short and long-term health impacts may exist depending on the specific product, duration, frequency, level of exposure, and route of exposure. Consumers with concerns about their personal health should contact their physician with related questions. Consumers with questions or concerns about recalled product or pesticide residues in marijuana products are encouraged to contact the product retailer and/or the Oregon Poison Center at 800-222-1222.