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Jan-30-2019 22:53printcomments

Oregon Officials Say Medical Marijuana Audit Results Require State Law Change

Secretary of State recommendations mirror 2018 OHA internal study findings

marijuana

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Officials at the Oregon Health Authority agree with a Secretary of State audit that found the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program needs improvements to ensure grow sites comply with reporting requirements.

Health officials also accept changes auditors recommended at the Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program to ensure cannabis testing labs meet national quality assurance standards.

The audit’s purpose was to determine whether Oregon has adequate controls to deter the diversion of legal marijuana to the black market and to oversee marijuana laboratory testing to ensure test results are accurate.

Auditor findings for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program were consistent with findings of an internal review OHA conducted last year and submitted to the Oregon Cannabis Commission in May 2018.

In a Jan. 25 response, OHA Director Patrick Allen said the agency agrees with the audit’s recommendations. Allen noted that some recommendations fall outside the scope of OHA’s statutory authority.

Director Allen said, “OMMP needs changes in state law that give the program needed authority and reporting ability to comply with many of these recommendations.”

The May 2018 report, an internal review of the OMMP, identified administrative shortcomings that enabled growers, dispensaries and laboratories to operate without effective oversight.

It also found that statutory restrictions limited the OMMP’s ability to answer information requests from local law enforcement officials, even as the program protects patient confidentiality.

The issues heightened the risk for medical marijuana to be diverted from patients, who rely on cannabis to treat medical conditions, into the black market.

The report can be viewed at http://healthoregon.org/ommp.

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