Oklahoma is in the process of accepting applications for cannabis testing licenses in the state. The intent is to license one or more laboratories that will be tasked with testing medical marijuana alongside the grower’s and processor’s own testing.
Regulators opened the books for applications on November 1 2019 and say they expect to begin issuing licenses to successful applicants in the new year. The state has given themselves 90 days to review and verify all applications with the time-frame between 1 and 3 months for the actual license issuing.
Rules regarding cannabis product testing came into force on August 30 even though the resources aren’t yet in place to perform the testing. Growers and processors currently test their own products for heavy metals, pesticides, THC and terpene potency and back that up with self-funded independent testing. The state wants to bolster this testing with approved independent laboratory testing.
Growers and processors are currently ‘encouraged’ to use independent laboratories to perform compliance testing. They are free to choose their own lab as long as it’s a nationally accredited organization. Once these lab licenses are in place, that will change to compel growers and processors to use the approved laboratories.
The intent is for medical marijuana to have similar compliance testing as other products. Edible marijuana products will have to have the same food licences and compliance as other food producers. Even though medical cannabis is a relatively new industry, regulators want to put adequate safety measures in place to guarantee quality and reduce the risk of contamination from the soil, pesticides or anything else.
Oklahoma is working hard to keep up with this fast moving market and while still lagging behind, shows every intention of maintaining pace with medical cannabis and putting just enough regulation in place to enforce safety without being too heavy handed. According to the 2019 Marijuana Business Factbook, medicinal cannabis sales in Oklahoma are set to reach between $140 to $180 million in sales during 2019. No state wants to lose the jobs, income and tax revenue from that!