Oregon Recalls Thousands of Cannabis Concentrates Due to Possible Pesticide Contamination

Editing to Add: This is a developing story that I first posted at 5 PM on 12/2. I have been editing and updating. OLCC supplied more information in an update at 8 PM on 12/2. But I have also been contacted by people in the industry regarding the situation letting me know that there is much, much more than is being reported.

I still have quite a bit of investigation to do to determine how an issue on this broad of a scale can happen, and what consumer’s concerns should be. There are several outstanding questions I have, and I’ll share the answers with you as I find them.

In a later update by the OLCC, more information was supplied: “The OLCC has not identified any fault by the laboratory that conducted the pesticide analysis. The items identified as subject to the mandatory recall are related to batches that originally failed testing for pesticides.”

Jamie’s Update: Everything in this is based only on what I know of the situation from bulletins from the OLCC and my prior outings examining the efficacy of lab testing regulations in Oregon. I’m updating it as I receive updates, because I’m getting a lot more texts about a story than I should. You can be sure this will be the last that I perform any journalism on the ‘professional’ cannabis industry in Oregon. Just as I am not a doctor, I’m not a journalist. I’m a concerned consumer. And a very frustrated one at that.

The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) issued a recall today of 9,300 products on the shelf under the brands Bobsled Extracts and Quantum Alchemy.

The OLCC bulletin explains that the recall is due to “ failure to follow OLCC and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) rules for tracking and isolating marijuana products where the presence of pesticides has been detected.” The bulletin also mentions that OLCC investigators were unable to determine how widespread the contamination was to the product lines. The products impacted are all extracts, including a vape cartridge, some jars of extract and some Rick Simpson Oil (RSO).

In addition to the 9,300 units on the shelves, 13,600 units were sold to customers. A recall of this size and scope, of over 20,000 items, doesn’t just demonstrate that Oregon’s rules regarding pesticides, remediation, and testing are not being followed. It might also indicate that they are poorly managed by the OLCC at best and entirely ineffective at protecting consumers from pesticide and other exposures at worst.

Sound harsh? It’s not a new problem. Here’s a video by the Oregonian about the same problem from seven years ago. This is also happening as OLCC is attempts to tighten regulations and processes following allegations of THC-gaming, lab shopping, and other behaviors.

OLCC is treating these as separate incidents, though they were discovered simultaneously. The bulletin states that “The companies that produce
Bobsled products (Bobsled, LLC) and Quantum Alchemy products (Happy Hollow Farms,Inc.) are cooperating with OLCC in the isolation and destruction of the affected items.”

What ARE you? Please note: not of concentrate / product in question. Image Source: Author

Pesticides and Concentrates

Many studies have been finding concentrates lacking when it comes to purity — one found that 80% of 57 products were contaminated. It’s a refrain — again and again. But it’s not just that they are very frequently found in concentrates, it’s also the potential for harm. While users prize extracts for the concentrated cannabinoids, they can also contain concentrated contaminants.

The bulletin from the state urges that consumers contact the Oregon
Poison Center at 800–222–1222, or to contact their medical provider.

I am not a doctor, and if you suspect the concentrate you consumed is contaminated because it’s on the linked list below, please stop reading this and go to the doctor. But if you’re curious what pesticide exposure symptoms can be, they rum the gamut from respiratory discomfort to nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headache, head fog. They can sometime screate long-term health com. Or, think of Mr. Yuk and call the Poison Control Center at (800) 222–1222.

Any consumers with questions or complaints related to the recall are asked to email the OLCC.

What’s Next?

I’ll keep you posted as to how the investigation, remediation, and fallout goes on this one. I’m hoping that an incident like this will make regulators, consumers, and the industry more aware of the seriousness of this issue.

Personally, this is a call to action to stand up for consumers and ensure that testing is done in a way that ensures consumers are kept safe.




Cannabis Explorations is focused on exploring all aspects of cannabis including plants, consumers, products, industry, and policy.

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