The state of Washington proposed a bill that will effectively restrict any impairing cannabinoid under one umbrella, Bill 1668. The bill, companioned in the Senate with SB 5547, calls for a label on any impairing product that clearly describes the serving size, potency, and ingredient disclosure standards. Intriguingly, cannabinoids derived from chemical synthesis or fermentation will need to be distinct from cannabis plant products. Finally, hemp compared to cannabis continues to require proper classification which the legislature attempts to define for Washington.
Marijuana and hemp are different classes of cannabis each with far different laws and definitions. Hemp is not a controlled substance in Bill 1668 unlike impairing cannabinoids. The classic 0.3% rule would therefore remain in the state of Washington. That means any plant with more than 0.3% THC is considered marijuana and therefore a regulated drug.
Impairing natural cannabinoids
Standing out is the proposed regulation of all natural cannabinoids that cause impairment, not just THC. Accordingly, 0.5 mg per serving or 2 mg total of all impairing cannabinoids will be allowed for a packaged product to bypass the Controlled Substances Act as hemp. If a product exceeds these limits, it will be held under the Liquor and Cannabis Board’s control.
A subjective boundary is created within the word, impairing, which legally implies the substance must reduce one’s cognitive, physical, or mental ability. The Analogue Act is further clarified in the document as well. For example, one line of text in Bill 1668 restricts any substance that chemically resembles an impairing cannabinoid. Although, a rule has been included wherein the analogue has to facilitate likewise stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic effects.
What are natural cannabinoids?
Natural cannabinoids include any substance found in a cannabis plant including cannabinoids produced by decarboxylation. Although, the cannabinoid becomes artificial if a chemical catalyst assists the decarboxylation. To make things slightly more complicated, oxygen is technically a catalyst under the definitions of the Bill.
Moreover, one cannabinoid was allegedly discovered in nature even though the scientific community disagrees with the research. This is the case for HHC, so it might become a legal matter to determine if the cannabinoid is natural or artificial.
Synthetically derived cannabinoid means any cannabinoid that is altered by a chemical reaction that changes the molecular structure of any natural cannabinoid derived from the plant Cannabis to another cannabinoid found naturally in the plant Cannabis.
Bill to restrict every form of THC
Previous regulations, such as the infamous Farm Bill, clearly defined delta-9-THC. The Farm Bill caused a stir by leaving out other impairing variations of THC like D8. Processors used THC isomers as a legal loophole as a response. In Bill 1668, however, THC is clearly defined as any isomer or analogue including but not limited to varin (THCv) and phorol (THCp). Further, it does not matter if the THC came from hemp or cannabis (marijuana).
Processors under oath
Marijuana producers and processors licensed by the board must disclose all synthetically derived cannabinoids on their packaging and labeling. They may not falsely advertise that synthetic cannabinoids are natural substances. To ensure this, processors and producers must disclose their ingredients to Health authorities while under oath.
Let us know in the comments what you think of Delta-9-THC derived from hemp and the imposed restrictions on impairing cannabinoids. And don’t forget to follow this link and leave a comment for Washington state.