Last month a new Oregon task force charged with considering several cannabis-related issues held its first meeting. The task force, created by a 2021 law, House Bill 3000 (HB 3000), must make recommendations to the Oregon Legislature on, among other things, how to regulate intoxicating cannabinoids, such as delta-8 THC, and “artificially derived cannabinoids,” which include non-intoxicating cannabinoids, such as CBN (cannabinol), both of which can be derived from federally legal hemp rather than federally illegal marijuana.
OLCC recently placed a 21-year-old age limit on sales of “adult cannabis items,” which includes hemp products advertised as intoxicating, that contain more than .5 mg of delta-9 THC, any other THC (such as delta-8 or delta-10), or any amount of “artificially derived cannabinoids” (ADC) whether or not they are intoxicating. ADC refers roughly to cannabinoids produced from a chemical reaction that changes the molecular structure of the source cannabis. The age limit applies to OLCC dispensaries and non-OLCC retail outlets alike (though dispensaries may sell such products to card carrying medical marijuana patients 18 and older).
More recently, OLCC implemented significant restrictions on ADC. As of July 1, 2022, OLCC will outright prohibit Oregon sales of any ADC product – including CBN – outside the OLCC system, such as in grocery or health food stores. Again, the ban applies to all ADC, even if non-intoxicating. Within the OLCC-regulated system, OLCC will also ban all non-CBN ADC products starting July 1, 2022, except for edible products and only if the edible manufacturer complies with several new restrictions including, among other things, an OLCC-approved “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) self-determination or certain similar forms of FDA acknowledgment. Edible CBN products will be subject to the same standards on and after July 1, 2023. Some in the cannabis industry consider this a de-facto ban given the costs and difficulty in meeting the new standards. FDA, for example, has declined to make a GRAS finding on CBD.
At a minimum, HB 3000 also requires the task force to consider the consolidation of administrative functions related to cannabis regulation (which could include consolidation of regulatory power into one agency), prevention of intoxicating hemp products sales to minors, cannabis testing and testing enforcement methods, and interstate commerce and transportation. The task force must also consider input from cannabis industry members, which would give industry members an excellent opportunity to weigh in on changes to cannabis regulation they’d like to see. Upcoming meetings have yet to be scheduled, but you can follow the task force, watch future meetings and, get information on how to participate by signing up for OLCC cannabis email alerts.