Article by Molly Harbarger, The Oregonian
Once packed with marijuana concentrates and extracts, the Human Collective’s shelves are nearly empty.
Some pot leaf-patterned socks and glass pipes sit scattered among what’s left. A static screen with just 13 flower options has replaced a digital “bud list” that used to scroll through the shop’s options for people waiting in line. The lines are gone, too. Only one or two budtenders work at a time – cut in half from before.
Within months of Oregon’s full recreational marijuana market coming online, the industry has come to a standstill with low supplies and big price jumps for consumers.
Don Morse, owner of the Human Collective in Southeast Portland, and other retailers, growers and processors blame Oregon’s strict pesticide rules for the problem.
The regulations – the first mandatory pre-emptive testing in the country for marijuana – went into effect Oct. 1. But the state has so far licensed only a handful of laboratories to do the tests on thousands of products, including flowers, edibles, concentrates, oils and extracts.
And the tests are expensive – in some cases more than six times what companies used to pay, they report. Then they must wait weeks to get their products back and find out if they passed or failed.