Proponents of medical marijuana in Oklahoma have long welcomed reasonable testing requirements for cannabis. Now they have some. Emergency testing regulations went into effect on December 20, 2018. They affect medical marijuana processors that deal with food, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.

See More Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Law Articles

The following is a general overview for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. Also, laws and regulations change from time to time. So, if you have questions or need legal advice, or need medical marijuana consulting or auditing, call the Cale Law Office at 918-277-4800.

1. You Don’t Hafta, But You Oughta

The Oklahoma Department of Health
oversees the State’s medical marijuana program through the Oklahoma Medical
Marijuana Authority (OMMA).

Within the emergency rules, the State
Health Department adopted a best practice standard, said Tulsa medical
marijuana attorney Stephen Cale. Specifically, it adopted the federal Hazard
Analysis and Critical Control Plan (HACCP).

The agency said that it adopted this
standard to “ensure that food is suitable for human consumption and that
food-packaging materials are safe and suitable.”

Oddly enough, the rules don’t require
processors to abide by the HACCP standard. Instead the new rules state that
“[p]rocessors are encouraged to adopt a HACCP to help ensure compliance with
existing Oklahoma food safety laws, particularly” rules concerning good food
manufacturing processes.

By the way,
the rules define what “food” is. Some of the things that fall within the definition
of food include gum, edibles, beverages, and ingredient used for human

And Now, Whatcha Gotta Do

The Health Department also adopted
mandatory rules – the things medical marijuana food processors must do. Let’s take a look.

2. Required Testing Procedures

Medical marijuana processors are now required to test food for:

  • Microbials
  • Solvent and chemical residue
  • Metals
  • Pesticide residue
  • Potency, and
  • Contaminants and filth

3. How Often Testing Must Be Done

On a quarterly basis, processors must
test “one lot of each type of edible medical marijuana product.”

4. What to Do When Edibles Get An “F”

The State Health Department has
adopted certain content thresholds. The new rules require marijuana food
processors to immediately reject or recall products that fail to meet the thresholds.

5. Testing Records

New rules now require marijuana food
processors to keep all test results and related records for three years, said
Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.

6. Allowable Thresholds | Microbial Testing

All marijuana food products must be
tested for aerobic plate count. This is a measurement of bacterial populations
on a sample.

7. E.Coli and Salmonella

Product test results must validate
that less than one colony forming unit (CFU) per gram of tested material is
present for E. coli or Salmonella species. Otherwise, the product must be
rejected and/or recalled.

8. Solvent and Chemical Residue

Food products containing medical
marijuana must be tested for the following solvents “to the maximum extent

  • Acetone < 1,000 ppm
  • Benzene < 2 ppm
  • Butanes / Heptanes < 1,000 ppm
  • Hexane < 60 ppm
  • Isopropyl Alcohol < 1,000 ppm
  • Pentane < 1,000 ppm
  • Propane < 1,000 ppm
  • Toluene < 180 ppm
  • Total Xylenes (m, p, o-xylenes) < 430 ppm

The test reports must state any
solvents listed above that could not be tested for, said Tulsa medical
marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.

Of Note: If the cannabis concentrate used to make an infused product is within established limits for solvents and chemical residue, then the infused product does not require additional testing for solvents and chemical residue.

9. Heavy Metals

Tests for
heavy metals must at least include lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury. The
test results must meet the following thresholds:

  • Lead – maximum limit of < 1 ppm
  • Arsenic – maximum limit of < 0.4 ppm
  • Cadmium – maximum limit of < 0.44 ppm
  • Mercury – maximum limit of < 0.2 ppm

Similar to solvent and chemical
residue tests, if cannabis concentrate used to make an infused product is within
established limits for metals, then the infused product does not require
additional testing for metals.

10. Pesticide Residue

must also test all product batches for pesticides. Tests for pesticide residue must
analyze samples for the presence of:

  • Chlorinated hydrocarbons
  • Organophosphates
  • Carbamates
  • Pyrethroids
  • Neonicotinoids
  • Acaracides
  • Fungicides
  • Bactericides

Similar to other testing, if the cannabis concentrate used to make
an infused product is within established limits for pesticides, then the
infused product does not require additional testing for pesticides.

11. THC Potency

must also test products for, and provide results of, total THC levels.

12. Contaminants and Filth

must inspect all products for contaminants and filth. “Contaminants” include
any biological or chemical agent, foreign matter, or other substances not
intentionally added to products that may compromise food safety or suitability.

must also document allowable thresholds for physical contaminants as part of
the product test plan. Inspection requirements should be included in the
operation’s product test plan for third-party testing, if applicable. The inspection
records must indicate a continual process of physical inspection taking place.

About The Cale Law Office

medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale is a Legal
 member of the
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). 
His practice focuses on medical marijuana law and criminal defense.