A new law that won’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2024, authorizes the OMMA to employ secret shoppers who will buy marijuana and marijuana products from dispensaries, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
THE NUMBER OF DISPENSARIES SHOPPER WILL VISIT | START DATE
For 2024, the OMMA must conduct at least 50 secret shopper inspections. In 2025, the OMMA must conduct at least 10 percent of the dispensaries. The selection of dispensaries must be random.
WHAT THE SECRET SHOPPER MUST DO
Here are a couple of tell-tale signs that someone may be an OMMA secret shopper.
The law sets out the duties of an OMMA secret shopper, Cale said. Here’s what to look for:
- When buying from a dispensary, the secret shopper must ask for a certificate of analysis for each product bought.
- The secret shopper must buy enough marijuana or marijuana product for five complete compliance tests.
To preserve the integrity of the secret shopper process, neither the dispensary nor the testing laboratory may be told that the transaction is from a secret shopper.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MARIJUANA AND MARIJUANA PRODUCTS BOUGHT BY THE OMMA SECRET SHOPPER
The law also sets out what happens to items bought by the secret shopper, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
- The secret shopper must deliver the medical marijuana or marijuana products to a quality assurance laboratory for homogenization, or blending.
- Once the samples have been homogenized, the samples must be delivered to three randomly selected licensed medical marijuana testing laboratories for compliance testing.
- Another sample must be tested by the lab that did the initial test on the marijuana or marijuana product.
- The test will be for pesticides, heavy metals, microbials, residual solvents for extracted products, and potency.
- The fifth sample is kept by the OMMA in case there is a discrepancy between testing labs, requiring retesting.
TESTING THRESHOLD RECALL
The law also details what will trigger a recall based on the samples collected by the OMMA secret shopper, said Tulsa medical marijuana attorney Stephen Cale.
- If the marijuana testing laboratories unanimously confirm test results with safety failures for contaminants, the OMMA must recall the medical marijuana or marijuana product within seven days of obtaining the test results.
- The OMMA must inform the public of the name of the dispensary and any other relevant product information via a press release.
- If there are two or three contaminant fails among the testing laboratories, the OMMA must work with a quality assurance laboratory to verify the results of the testing laboratories “and take appropriate action.”
DISCREPANCIES IN POTENCIES
As of this writing, there is no law capping THC potency or terpene concentration, Cale said. But the secret shopper law takes into account those factors.
- If the average total potency or total terpene results for a particular product is outside the “allowable limits,” the OMMA must work with a quality assurance laboratory to verify the results of the testing laboratory.
- If results are verified to be outside the “allowable limits,” the OMMA must require relabeling of the medical marijuana or marijuana products.
“The Legislature probably wants what is on the label to match testing results. But that’s not how the law reads when it talks about ‘allowable limits’,” Cale said.