Oregon Cannabis Growers Sue Over State’s Mold Testing Requirements

The Cannabis Industry Association of Oregon and several of the state’s organic cannabis cultivators are suing to undo the Oregon Health Authority’s new Aspergillus mold testing requirements for cannabis products.

Full story after the jump.

The Cannabis Industry Association of Oregon, Southern Oregon Family Farms, and Cannessentials Farm filed suit last week to block the Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) new cannabis testing requirements for Aspergillus, the Bend Bulletin reports.

The plaintiffs claim that the new testing rules — which require Oregon cannabis licensees to have their products tested for Aspergillus mold — are overreaching and harmful to the industry. The new rules took effect on March 1 and since then, many organic cannabis cultivators in the state have failed the Aspergillus testing.

“The current testing requirements are inconsistent, confusing and exorbitantly costly, leading to disastrous financial consequences for cannabis businesses across Oregon. The industry, unique and invaluable to Oregon’s culture and economy, is being pushed to the brink of financial collapse by these regulations. This situation calls for urgent intervention to ensure survival of this thriving industry.” — Oregon Cannabis Industry Association statement, via press release

Aspergillus mold can lead to a lung infection called aspergillosis in people with weakened immune systems or lung diseases, according to the report, although most people breathe in aspergillus spores every day without issue.

Plaintiffs argue the new testing requirements have led to increased costs for consumers and lowered the overall quality of products (cannabis flower which fails the test can be remediated, although the process is both costly and can be ineffective), and all without actually serving to protect Oregon cannabis consumers.

Per the press release: “No clear link has been established between the consumption of cannabis products and aspergillus-related health issues, warranting further research before enforcement of costly and overly restrictive rules.”

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