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Oregon Regulators Recall Pesticide-contaminated Cannabis Products

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Jan 08, 2021   
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State regulators in Oregon have recalled a batch of adult-use cannabis extracts and pre-rolls due to pesticide contamination.

The products initially failed state testing requirements and are considered unsafe for consumers.

Cannabis, contaminated

According to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), the products failed pesticide standards (for the insecticide abamectin) back in early 2020 when tested by a subcontracted lab. Yet, the primary lab, Ecotest Labs, reportedly passed the batch in March.

It’s thought that this contaminated batch was then mixed with flower from other sources to make the cannabis extracts. After processing, the finished products managed to pass pesticide testing. But, under Oregon Health Authority regulations, any marijuana that fails pesticide testing during production cannot be used in a processed item.

Ecotest’s decision to pass the final products, then, partly led the OLCC to suspend its license last September. At the time, the agency said that the lab’s continued operations represented “a serious danger to the public health and safety.”

The current contamination issue was first reported to the OLCC on December 29 by a separate processor whose extracts failed pesticide testing. Using data from the state’s cannabis tracking system, regulators verified the failed subcontracted test, traced the affected items, and issued guidance to licensees to set aside the contaminated product.

Consumers can identify an affected concentrate product if its packaging contains the phrase “Emerald Extracts Purple Slurry.” The pre-roll products are thought to be marketed under the strain names “Qurkle,” “BP Oil Slick,” and “Green Crush.”

Any consumer in possession of such a product has been advised by the OLCC to either dispose of it or return it to the initial retailer.

As of November 10, 2020, 21 cannabis labs have been licensed by Oregon authorities to some extent. The majority have been approved to test for potency, pesticides, and moisture content. Only three companies are currently accredited to test for microbes.


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