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OLCC Breaking News: Cannabis Product Recalls Sweep Oregon

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The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) has kicked off 2023 with a wave of cannabis product recalls that signals a new era of cannabis regulation enforcement. The agency is currently undergoing a change in leadership amidst a rare bourbon scandal. However, their message to the cannabis industry is clear- OLCC is not playing around anymore.

Inflated Cannabis Potency Testing

In 2022, Medium blogger Jamie Toth reached out to Oregon cannabis testing labs and wrote a series of articles about the issue of inflated potency results. Among the cannabis testing laboratories in Oregon, insiders are well aware that certain laboratories have been inflating cannabis potency results. However, the lack of hard evidence has made it difficult for regulators to crack down on these labs. There is a rumor of ongoing investigations into inflated potency results, but no action has been publically taken.

Currently, the oversupply of marijuana has led to crashing prices. This has driven producers to desperately seek out the highest potency test results that can get them better prices for their harvests. Laboratories are also suffering and some have even closed down because they cannot compete with labs that are inflating results. 2022 was truly a brutal year for cannabis testing labs in Oregon, but the open secret of potency result inflation has sparked the OLCC to take action and pay closer attention.

Oregon Cannabis Product Recalls – Pesticide Contamination

In January 2023, OLCC announced that it was recalling more than 1,000 units of cannabis vape cartridges. These vapes were produced by Swell Companies Limited, specifically La Mota – Jack Herer, and Her – Girl’s Night Out. The recall is due to pesticide contamination (pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide). OLCC explained:

“At this stage in the OLCC’s investigation, it appears that PREE Laboratories, the OLCC licensed lab responsible for testing the products, incorrectly entered into [Cannabis Tracking System] that the products had ‘passed” a pesticides test, when in fact the products had ‘failed.’”

It is rumored that the products were “dry-labbed.” This essentially means the lab did not actually perform the product testing but entered passing results. However, the reason for the incorrect results has not been officially confirmed.

More Cannabis Products Recalled for Prohibited Additives

On February 14, 2023, OLCC announced more cannabis product recalls. The target of the recalls again was cannabis vape cartridges, but these were produced by Plank Road Laboratories, Inc. and sold under the brand names Firefly Extracts or Smoke-Rite Wellness. Regulators indicated that 7,000 units were already sold (starting in 2020) and only 500 remained, so many of the affected products have already reached consumers. Here is a list of the specific products under recall:

  • Firefly “Purple Kush 8:1” vape cartridge (Manufacture Date: 05/27/2022)
  • Firefly “Suver Haze” vape cartridge (Manufacture Date: 05/24/2022)
  • Firefly “T-1” or “High CBD 8:1” vape cartridge (Manufacture Date: 05/19/2022)
  • Firefly “Cherry Wife 8:1” or “High CBD Blend 8” vape cartridge (| Manufacture Date: 09/09/2021) Firefly or Smoke-Rite Wellness “Cherry Wife 1:1” or “High CBD Blend 1” or “High CBD Blend 1:1” vape cartridge (Manufacture Date: 09/09/2021)
  • Firefly or Smoke-Rite Wellness – “Cherry Wife 2:1” or “High CBD Blend 2” or “High CBD Blend 2:1” vape cartridge (Manufacture Date: 09/09/202)
  • Firefly or Smoke-Rite Wellness – “Cherry Wife 10:1” or “High CBD Blend 10” or “High CBD Blend 10:1” vape cartridge (Manufacture Date: 07/27/2021)
  • Firefly “El Jefe” or “High CBD Blend 0” vape cartridge (Manufacture Date: 07/15/2021)
  • Firefly “Sour Space Candy” vape cartridge (Manufacture Date: 05/03/2021)
  • Firefly “High CBD Blend 0” vape cartridge (Manufacture Date: 12/1/2020)

OLCC says these CBD-focused vapes were found to contain “CBN, an artificially derived cannabinoid, and CBC, a synthetic cannabinoid.” Cannabinol (CBN) and cannabichromene (CBC) are legal when they are naturally derived from cannabis. However, the announcement letter indicates that this producer was using artificially produced versions.

Oregon Cannabis Regulation in 2023 The first two months of 2023 have been surprisingly eventful for OLCC. In addition to cannabis product recalls and management changes, new cannabis testing requirements for heavy metal and microbial contamination will take effect in March. The state also needs to work to address the oversupply of cannabis. While many cannabis producers and testing laboratories are struggling to stay in business, it is clear that this year will bring many changes to the industry.



Sabine Downer is a scientist and cannabis writer with a passion for education. She has been writing for various clients in the cannabis space since 2015 and has worked in biotechnology since 2010. Along with content creation, she is also a knowledgeable resource on quality assurance, regulatory, and legal topics.

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