Testing and labeling differences are a big part of the legislation heading to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin’s desk in the future. The guidelines were approved by the Oklahoma Board of Health Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018.
Among the proposed requirements are the need for processors to clearly note the amount of THC present in all edible products, as well as conducting quarterly tests to find any sign of bacteria, mould, chemical residue, or metals.
The Health Department, which released a set of marijuana guidelines over the summer that were not favourably received, worked with the attorney general’s office to ensure these guidelines remain within the purview of the office.
The initial set of rules prohibited smoking marijuana and also had guidelines for hiring a pharmacist to work in all dispensaries, leading to lawsuits from concerned citizens that felt those rules were drastically overstepping the reach of the office.
Meanwhile, the current proposed legislation will help producers in Oklahoma who have been creating edibles for the market and working on their own perception of the best way to test and label the products.
Medical marijuana was approved in June 2018 in Oklahoma. Efforts to add recreational use to the ballot for November’s election was met with a lot of reluctance and outright refusal.
Most supporters of marijuana use have found the rules currently proposed to be relatively reasonable, as they follow similar guidelines set forth for food products that do not contain THC.
The testing does not seem to be a sticking point, since many producers already test products on their own, and the requirement only involves one batch of product each quarter. Meanwhile, the addition of the THC information and also the state’s Poison Control number are one-time changes that can be easily made to product labels that are already planned out.
Business owners in Oklahoma seem largely flexible and amenable to changes, which is a positive when further changes to the proposed legislation or forthcoming proposals could mean more changes after the state’s legislature returns to session in the new year. The potential for growth and change is significant, since the legislation on the books is still very new.