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Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority Seeing Benefits from Quality Assurance Lab Hired in August

Whitney Bryen-Oklahoma Watch

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority is reviewing results from its first round of lab proficiency testing.

OMMA entered into an agreement with Metis in August to serve as the state’s quality assurance lab, essentially setting the standard other labs must meet so there’s little variance between licensed testing facilities. OMMA Interim Director Dr. Kelly Williams told state lawmakers during a policy meeting at the capitol on Monday the first round focused on correctly testing for marijuana potency, pesticides, microbials, solvents, heavy metals and mycotoxins.

"We’ve really hit the ground running on the proficiency testing and already helped to identify some areas of opportunity that they’re going to coach the labs on and help identify their procedures. They have also assisted us in at least one recall. There were samples of product that we were concerned about We had them test it, and it turned out that, that product needed to be recalled," Williams said.

A second round of proficiency testing focused on mold and E. coli is due this month. Williams said OMMA and Metis have a goal of monthly challenges, biannual lab visits and random sampling of marijuana products on shelves.

The company may also help OMMA expand the scope of required tests.

"There may be some things that are not currently on our radar that need to be. And so, they’re going to help us to identify that. So, as they’re testing these reserve samples, as they’re testing samples from our growers, processors and dispensaries, they’re going to keep an eyer on those and see if there’s something really out there that we don’t have on our list but we should," Williams said.

Oklahoma currently has 23 OMMA licensed labs.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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