Oklahoma Legislature Approves Laboratory Testing Rule Recommendations

The Oklahoma Legislature’s working group on the medical marijuana implementation voted unanimously to provide the Department of Health with recommendations for drafting regulations to govern the independent testing of marijuana, extracts and concentrates. The recommendations also address packaging/labeling requirements and prohibit candy-like edibles that may be attractive to children.

The independent testing laboratory recommendations requires labs, except those with provisional approval to be accredited by a qualified third party organization. Labs with provisional approval must attest to the fact that they comply with ANSI/ASQ protocol, and will seek accreditation. The recommendations contain standard provisions requiring employee registration identification cards, standards for the testing facility and a one year license that may be renewed within 30 days of expiration.

The standards for sampling, scope of tests, and standards for usable marijuana, extracts and concentrates are in line with other states. Labs must adopt operating procedures that outline, among other things, the lab’s the sampling procedures, chain of custody protocol, and testing methodologies However, Oklahoma’s recommendations allow for the remediation and retesting for certain test failures including microbiological, residual solvent, moisture content and foreign materials. Batches that fail residual pesticide, heavy metals or mycotoxin testing may not be remediated and must be destroyed.

Separately, the Oklahoma State Department of Health established a Food Safety Standards Board that issued draft rule language that sets forth food safety standards for processors. The scope of the draft rules is limited to establishing specific safety standards and testing requirements for food that contains marijuana.

The recommendations also include packaging / labeling requirements that require medical marijuana labels to include, after May 19th, information regarding the potency of the marijuana or marijuana products including concentrates. The labels must contain warning language regarding dangers of using the product, and a specific warning must be displayed if the marijuana has not been tested. The packaging requirements are similar to proposals by other states such as Oregon to prescribe the size, font type and information that must be contained on the principal display panel.

The recommendations also prohibit the manufacture or selling of gummy bears, worms, lollipops, human, animal or fruit shapes or other product that might be attractive to children. Again, Oklahoma is following other states such as Washington that are cracking down on edibles that resemble children’s candy.