OLCC to limit use of Delta-8-THC, other artificially derived cannabinoids


Produces similar high to marijuana’s THC; commission also discusses COVID-19 impacts; 2 Bend liquor licensees sanctioned

Portland, OR — The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has initiated rule-making for Delta-8-THC and other psychoactive components of hemp and marijuana that currently fall outside the adult-use cannabis market’s system of testing and labeling.

At their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, commissioners expressed concern about the general availability of this unregulated, intoxicating product.

Delta-8-THC has recently emerged for sale nationwide, including in the supply chain of the OLCC recreational marijuana market, as well as in unregulated brick and mortar convenience stores and internet websites. Delta-8-THC is present in marijuana, but the OLCC only regulates Delta-9-THC produced in marijuana. When consumed by humans, Delta-8-THC produces an effect (“high”) similar to Delta-9-THC.

Delta-8-THC can also be created from hemp, which is regulated under the federal Farm Bill of 2018. Typically, hemp-derived Delta-8-THC is converted from CBD through a chemical process, which also produces a large proportion – as high as 30 – 50% – of unknown byproducts. Delta-8-THC created from hemp can be found in food products and sprayed on hemp flower.

Delta-8-THC isn’t addressed in Oregon statutes, isn’t included in Oregon Health Authority marijuana concentration limits, and there’s no testing for the Delta-8-THC or the byproducts included in its chemical conversion. But Delta-8 products are currently widely available for purchase outside the OLCC adult-use market, even by children.

“When this was brought to my attention, alarm bells went off in my head,” said Paul Rosenbaum, OLCC Commission chair. “You have minors going into grocery stores, and they understand very well what this is all about. And let me tell you, if there’s a way to find it, people will do it.”

OLCC’s proposed rulemaking would only address the presence of Delta-8-THC and other artificially-derived cannabinoids in products grown, manufactured and sold in Oregon’s recreational marijuana market. But for OLCC and the Oregon Department of Agriculture to take effective action on total THC measurement and tamp down the availability of such products to minors, legislative action is required.

“We don’t have sufficient authority over total THC in Oregon,” said Steve Marks, OLCC’s executive director. “But until we get that and ability to do final product testing to help get these things into the right markets where they’re supposed to be, either in the unregulated hemp CBD market or into our market, it’s going to be hard.”

Marks observed that all states are facing the issue of how to regulate Delta-8-THC, but that Oregon is at the forefront in addressing it. Regulatory gaps do remain surrounding…



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