The suspension of an Oklahoma medical marijuana testing laboratory’s license has seen 99 medicines subject to a recall.
The state’s Commissioner of Health recently issued an emergency order for the suspension due to alleged violations of Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) rules.
OMMA inspections and examination of the laboratory’s records found multiple violations that OMMA said pose a threat to public health, safety and/or welfare. The alleged violations included manipulating testing data and deviation from the lab’s standard operating procedures on a routine basis.
Among the issues exposed
- 138 samples exceeded allowable thresholds for yeast and mold, but were reported to commercial licensees as passing.
- A sample exceeded allowing thresholds for salmonella, but was reported as passing.
- 5 had levels of E. coli above allowable thresholds and again, were reported as passing.
A copy of the emergency order for the suspension can be found here.
“Let this serve as a warning to any licensee attempting to skirt state laws: We work diligently behind the scenes to find and take down the bad actors within this industry,” said OMMA Executive Director Adria Berry.
OMMA says it has alerted 33 businesses about the 99 medicines; primarily flower products, but also some infused pre-rolls, concentrates and cartridges. The growers and processors who received the recall notice are required to inform dispensaries that purchased the products, and dispensaries are required to contact patients who bought them.
OMMA notes contacting businesses and patients will be easier in the future with full implementation of the Metrc seed-to-sale statewide inventory tracking system; with all business licensees required to be fully Metrc-compliant by Thursday, May 26, 2022.
Consumers put a great deal of trust in testing laboratories and this incident will cast a shadow over the entire industry. This sort of behavior doesn’t appear to be an isolated incident, with it being an open secret some U.S. laboratories will fudge results for whatever reason. This is very unfortunate for laboratories doing the right thing and hopefully OMMA’s warning shot across the bows of the sector will see bad actors tidy up their act or exit.