Mold Testing on Cannabis products suspended in Oregon
The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has filed a temporary suspension on the testing of cannabis products for the mould Aspergillus.
Earlier this year, Oregon introduced regulations that required all cannabis products to be tested for four strains of the mould Aspergillus including A. flavus, A. fumigatus, A. niger and A. terreus. Any products that tested positive for the mould strains would not be allowed on retail shelves.
However, members of the Oregon cannabis industry said this zero-tolerance rule was too harsh – including the Cannabis Industry Alliance of Oregon (CIAO) – which led a legal challenge against the rule, claiming it is “devastating and irreparable” as the mould is “endemic in the air” and that there are no effective agricultural methods to eliminate the pathogen.
This could lead to companies going out of business by the end of the year, the orgainsation has said.
Following a Court of Appeals stay, OHA has now filed a temporary rule suspending the requirement to test cannabis products for the mould.
André Ourso, administrator for the Center for Health Protection at OHA’s Public Health Division, stated that the agency: “…remains concerned about the health impacts of Aspergillus on cannabis users, including Oregon Medical Marijuana Program registrants, and will consider revisiting rulemaking in the near future.”
Testing for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Salmonella species will continue.