Save Our Cannabis Farms - Support Evidence Based Regulations

Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission

Oregon's current cannabis testing regime is harming the cannabis industry. Testing is inconsistent, confusing, incredibly costly, and regulated poorly leading to horrible financial outcomes for Oregon cannabis businesses.   We need your help and voice to advocate for an emergency pause of Aspergillus testing requirements and for evidence-based testing reforms that will ensure consumer safety and a thriving cannabis industry. Please add your name to the petition below that will be sent to the OHA and OLCC leadership.

Oregon's legal cannabis industry is uniquely special and valuable to the state. Birthed from a historic culture of cannabis appreciation and understanding it developed an expertise in cultivation and processing unmet anywhere else in the world.  It is also very fragile and suffering through the worst economic environment in its history which has pushed many businesses to close and many more to the brink of financial collapse. This industry cannot absorb any more financial shocks without risking the destruction of the culture and expertise that has made it so special.

That is why we are asking you to add your name to the petition below. Oregon's cannabis industry must come together and fight for its future. Please Note: The letter below will be submitted as part of an official petition for emergency rule suspension.

To: Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission
From: [Your Name]

To Whom It May Concern,

The undersigned respectfully requests that you enact a temporary emergency pause on the required qPCR compliance testing and METRC reporting for Aspergillus. We support continuing compliance testing for mycotoxins. This pause will allow the industry to learn, adapt, fix testing irregularities and flaws, and improve the related regulations that make adapting to the new testing so costly and challenging. Oregon's cannabis industry has prided itself on producing the highest quality cannabis and cannabis products in the country. We hope that the OHA and OLCC work with the industry to address the issues with the current testing rules and help ensure that we are able to continue producing safe high-quality cannabis & a thriving cannabis industry.

A pause of this nature is warranted considering the following:

1) Lack of Scientific Link to Cannabis Consumption: Published reports, including those used by the OHA to justify Aspergillus testing, have not established a clear link between the consumption of cannabis products for the regulated adult-use market and Aspergillus-related health issues. In fact, OHA's own report states "A positive test result would not mean the product is unsafe for most uses for most people." At least one report (Fungal Contamination of Tobacco and Marijuana, May 2007 JAMA 284(22):2875-2875 ) established that Aspergillus-contaminated tobacco cigarettes tested negative following combustion. As the 2019 SOS Audit advised in no uncertain terms, further research is warranted prior to the enforcement of costly rules that were based upon correlations and conclusions riddled with qualifiers and uncertainties affecting an exceedingly small segment of the population. OHA determined such a research effort was not in their budget yet adopted the questionable rules anyway.

2. Questioning the Legitimacy of Testing: There is growing skepticism around the country regarding the legitimacy and effectiveness of Aspergillus testing in the cannabis industry. Notably, Colorado is revisiting their microbial testing rules and other states like Washington rejected efforts to implement this test. These instances highlight the need for a comprehensive reevaluation of the rule's validity and its impact to public health as-well-was the economic impacts on the industry and resulting tax revenues.

3. Ubiquitous Nature of Aspergillus: It is essential to recognize that one species of Aspergillus, A. fumigatus, is widely prevalent in the environment, including soil, compost, building materials and decaying plant matter. As a primary fungal species involved in carbon and cellulose breakdown, it is present everywhere, while the vast majority of individuals experience no adverse effects from its inhalation. Therefore, the strict pass/fail criterion may lead to random and economically damaging failures for cultivators, regardless of their cultivation method or environment.

4. Inconsistency in Testing and Remediation: Many cultivators have reported significant inconsistencies in the testing results, adding to the frustration and financial burden placed upon their businesses. Additionally, the current rule only permits a single remediation attempt before the entire lot is required to be destroyed. This approach fails to consider the potential for false positives and disregards the considerable investment made by cultivators in their products.

5. Financial Impact: The rule as they currently stand did not fully take into account the additional costs to producers and processors for compliance. These costs threaten to bankrupt numerous cannabis businesses and drive many more to the brink of collapse. The unaccounted-for costs are caused by multiple factors that are often compounding, including but not limited to - loss of product due to failed tests, loss of the product caused by lab/test errors, increased number of R&D compliance tests, disincentive of composite testing, post-testing remediation, drying & production facilities upgrades, lost business opportunities, and reputational damage.

Thank you for your time and consideration.