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OMMA warning patients and dispensaries about harmful substance

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 6:27 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - An advisory was sent out by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority about a harmful substance recently found in a product.

Communication Manager Kelsey Pagonis said this all came about when the Authority received a patient complaint about a negative response to a dab they bought from a licensed dispensary.

After investigating, the OMMA was able to track down the product and took it in for lab testing.

What they found was THC - O - acetate, which is a very dangerous compound that increases the potency in THC.

It makes the product much stronger than what it’s intended to be and could have major side effects.

“I will start by saying this is not something that has been heavily studied, or researched before. So we don’t have all the answers. But we do know that there’s a correlation between THC - O - acetate and seizures, increased anxiety, and paranoia, difficulty speaking, loss of consciousness, hyperemesis, so vomiting,” Pagonis said.

Pagonis said the substance that was found is not natural meaning whoever made it tampered with the product by adding in the THC - O - acetate.

Med Dispensary Manager Raymond Chriswell is glad none of his products had the substance but said there’s a lengthy checklist to make sure that it isn’t.

“I would go into my system to see if I have it. If we do have it, we pull it off the shelf. As soon as we get it off the shelf, we go back, pull the readings, find the badge number because it’s on all your readings. Compare that badge number with the OMMA badge number that they have out there for the certain stain they have the warning against. If it matches, contact OMMA to let them know that you have it, the amount, and all that, and that you’re having it mandatory destroyed,” Chriswell said.

Bud Hut M.D Owner Levenia Steele said the advisory made her nervous because she buys her products, but she has confidence that the people she works with wouldn’t do anything to harm others.

“I trust what my buyers, what my processors, and growers. I have to trust them. The testing, when they send it in, and everything,” Steele said.

Pagonis said OMMA is keeping a close eye on this to make sure it doesn’t keep happening.

“MEDIS, our QA lab we’re working with them to develop a sort of surveillance for this. We have a surveillance plan that we’re doing so they can start regularly testing for THC - O - A and other THC - analogs. This wasn’t something that was in our testing requirements, and because we’re seeing the number of cases related to analogs or synthetic we’re seeing that on the rise. This is something that we’re putting in place immediately,” Pagonis said.

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