OMMA contracts Oklahoma lab to create independent oversight for state industry

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

By Kayla Johnson | The Chronic | August 30, 2020

While Oklahoma's medical cannabis industry has undeniably flourished over the past two years, there have also been issues, in recent months especially, regarding untested or unsafe products floating around the market, and incorrect testing results being presented to dispensaries and patients alike. Untested and unsafe products can pose serious health risks to patients and also puts businesses at serious risk if they're unable to rely on testing, and the rise of this problem seems to have captured the state's attention.

In an effort to combat what's been seen by many as a problem fed by potential corruption between businesses, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority has taken the step of securing the services of a lab in the state to work with other labs to ensure the cannabis grown and processed here is safe for patients to consume.

According to Dale Denwalt of The Oklahoman," Demeter Laboratory will represent the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority by making sure other labs are following state rules and regulations. Demeter will also provide secondary testing on products that are submitted to other labs."

Up until this point, labs operating in Oklahoma have had somewhat limited oversight from the OMMA, due to the fact that there was no lab operating independently to help with quality assurance. With Demeter's agreement with the state agency, a nonbiased, third party lab with no ties to any business in the state will be available to ensure results are accurate when additional verification is needed. While Demeter has parted ways with companies they had previously tested for, their decision to become independent won them a staggering $10 million contract from the state.

The OMMA's move is a welcome one in many ways; it shows that the state is taking patient safety seriously, and that they recognize the significant issues that come with unreliable or inaccurate testing. We look forward to hearing more from Demeter Laboratory about their oversight protocols and how soon they'll be moving forward.