The Oregon Liquor Control Commission announced last Friday that it will begin random testing of the state’s cannabis products for undisclosed ingredients and additives. The agency said the change stems from last year’s vaping crisis.

“During the vaping crisis OLCC took the position that specific additives suspected of being contained in nicotine and cannabis vaping products were adulterants and based on existing OLCC rules should not to be contained in marijuana products. But the OLCC lacked specific authority to require random sampling and testing to detect adulterants and other contaminants in the marijuana products of licensees.” – OLCC in a April 17, 2020 press release

In Oregon, the vape-linked pulmonary illness was linked 22 cases and two deaths. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report indicated that most of the cannabis vape cartridges linked to the disease were produced and obtained outside of legal markets.

The agency also said for the next six months it will not require an in-person inspection by members of its staff for a proposed licensed premises due to the current coronavirus pandemic.

Steve Marks, OLCC executive director, called the suspension of in-person inspections a “temporary change” similar to rules allowing curbside delivery.

“We’re saying to the cannabis industry ‘we expect you to act responsibly’ and applicants are expected to abide by all of the rules,” Marks said in a statement. “If they do not, they will be subject to violations and the OLCC will act quickly in order to ensure public safety.”

The rule aligns with the state social distancing requirements, which do not, yet, have an end date. The random testing policy takes effect today.

By TJ Branfalt for