On December 28th, 2021, the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission released a compliance education bulletin. In it, they announced major changes to certain cannabis regulations and these will come into effect by July 2022. Products containing artificially derived cannabinoids will now be under strict regulations and some are banned entirely. On top of that, the OLCC has made revisions in regards to packaging and labeling, THC concentration limits, and cannabis extraction methods. Here is what you need to know.
Artificially Derived Cannabinoids
Artificially derived cannabinoids are defined in the bulletin; they are referred to as “semi-synthetic cannabinoids created from chemical reactions with cannabis-extracted substances. Common examples include Delta-8-THC or CBN made from CBD. This does not include decarboxylation of cannabinoids with heat.” After July 1st, 2022, products containing artificially derived cannabinoids can only be produced and sold under these new, specific requirements:
- The products comply with OLCC rules
- Both the retailer and manufacturer have valid licenses
- The product is not intended for human inhalation
- The product is not intoxicating and doesn’t cause impairment
- The product is labeled in accordance with the new labeling requirements
- The artificially derived cannabinoid was manufactured in a facility with an ODA food safety license by an OLCC Processor or ODA Hemp Handler
- The artificially derived cannabinoid has been reported as a naturally-occurring component of the plant Cannabis family Cannabaceae in at least three peer-reviewed publications.
Until then, product manufacturers will have time to offload any back stock. After July 1, 2022, intoxicating artificially-derived cannabinoids, including Delta-8-THC, are prohibited both inside and outside the OLCC market.
Because of its therapeutic potential, products containing Delta-8-THC have gained more popularity as of late. A powerful anti-nauseant, Delta 8 THC only occurs in small amounts naturally within the cannabis plant. As there is too little to harvest naturally, it is usually created by chemically converting Delta-9-THC or CBD. While some report a psychoactive effect, most do not experience any intoxication. Because of this, Delta-8-THC is thought to have immense potential in pediatric medicine.
In 1995, a study was conducted on pediatric cancer patients and the published name speaks for itself; according to An efficient new cannabinoid antiemetic in pediatric oncology, “Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol was administered (18 mg/m2 in edible oil, p.o.) to eight children, aged 3-13 years with various hematologic cancers. Vomiting was completely prevented. The side effects observed were negligible.” After July 1, 2022, Delta-8-THC will be banned in the recreational market, making it a lot harder to find.
Products containing artificially derived CBN will still have a place in the Oregon market. However, they will only be sold if they meet all the new requirements. After July 1st, 2022, all products containing artificially derived CBN will have to be labeled as such.
As of July 1st, 2022, artificially derived Delta-9-THC will be banned by the OLCC. The bulletins specifically mention Delta-9-THC manufactured from CBD as an example. One thing is clear in the state of Oregon, they do not want anyone smoking anything but naturally derived Delta-9. Really, what they’re doing is preventing the potential emergence of products similar to spice.
Spice is synthetic cannabis usually made by spraying hemp fibers with Delta-9-THC. It’s important to know that the Delta-9-THC is chemically created because that’s what has allowed it to circumvent the law. Because it’s fabricated and not derived naturally, it could not be regulated in the same way. Spice, K2, and other similar products were federally banned in the US back in 2010. On October 15th, 2010, the Oregon Board of Pharmacy took it a step further; they made it illegal to use or possess these products.
The OLCC is now in charge of setting the serving size and concentration limits for cannabis products. Formally, it was the Oregon Health Authority. When it comes to recreational cannabis limits, the OLCC has made some changes and basically doubled the limits:
- On or after April 1, 2022, marijuana edibles can now have up to 100 mg THC in the package and up to 10 mg THC per serving
- On or after January 1, 2022, marijuana transdermal patches can now have up to 100 mg THC in the package and up 10 mg THC per serving
- On or after January 1, 2022, marijuana concentrates and extracts can now have up to 2,000 mg THC in the package (there is no serving size limitation).
Packaging and labeling
There are some new and noteworthy changes to the rules when it comes to packaging and labeling. These include:
- Artificially derived cannabinoids – If a product is made with them, it must be labeled with the words ‘artificially derived cannabinoids’. This extends to edibles, tinctures, and extracts. Special labels for these products must be made and submitted to the OLCC before the product can be sold.
- Pre-rolls – Child-resistant packaging will no longer be required for pre-rolled joints and other ready-to-use products.
- Name changing – With OLCC approval, cannabis retailers will be able to change the producer’s business name without re-submitting the product. Basically, this means that a retailer will have the ability to rebrand a product before selling it to consumers.
Extraction Techniques – CRC Banned
CRC stands for color remediation column. Some cannabis concentrate producers use it as a filtration system during the extraction process. If you’ve ever seen shatter with almost no color, chances are that it has been run through a CRC filter. Usually, this is frowned upon because it’s not always used in an honest way. Sometimes a producer will take a lower quality concentrate and run it through a CRC filter; this would give the appearance of a higher quality product. According to the bulletin, any concentrates used or possessed with a CRC column or material such a bleaching clay, can be made until January 1st, 2022. Backstock or leftover products may be sold until July 1st, 2022. After that, they will not have a place in the Oregon market.