Oregon Taking Steps to Set Delta-8 THC Limits

Delta-8 THC is a mildly intoxicating compound derived from processed cannabis. It’s recently gained a lot of popularity in several states around the country.

Due to gray areas in the law surrounding Delta-8, the compound is often sold outside the regulated cannabis system.

This is a source of concern for law enforcement officials and regulators of the legal cannabis industry around the country.

But Oregon is advancing its progress to regulate the legal Delta-8 THC limits. It is one of the latest states to ban the sale of Delta-8.

An article published by Hemp Industry Daily looks at what’s going on in Oregon.

Marijuana Market Condition in Oregon

Cannabis joints in a pile.

In 2019, there was a big influx of businesses in the cannabis industry. This caused the price of hemp and CBD to drop. As a result, growers and processors in Oregon found Delta-8 an attractive source of income.

Concerns Over Delta-8

The OLCC (Oregon Liquor Control Commission) is in charge of overseeing the adult-use cannabis market in Oregon. More particularly, it helps regulate products derived from marijuana, such as those containing Delta-9-THC, a compound banned by the federal government. 

The agency released a recent statement over the weekend. It will now consider rule-making to address Delta-8 THC and other artificially derived cannabinoids.

Delta-8 THC is a substance that creates the high associated with marijuana. But the compound shows up naturally in small amounts when CBD is extracted from hemp.

However, the OLCC sees risks associated with the use of Delta-8 THC. Therefore, the agency wants to discuss legislative remedies with lawmakers to help monitor this market.

In the committee hearing held in March, the OLCC suggested that all THC intoxicating products should be tested and labeled. Moreover, retailers cannot sell any non-regulated Delta-8 THC products to minors under the age of 21.

House Bill 3000: A New Law 

On Saturday, the legislature passed a new bill, House Bill 3000. It’s a bill that Representative Lily Morgan sponsored. She wants to ensure that minors and communities are better protected from the more harmful hemp products containing THC.

Morgan said that the bill offered an opportunity to regain control of the community, freeing citizens of fear of safety.

So you can say lawmakers are slowly making progress. They’ve agreed to set new limits for products derived from hemp, including Delta-8 THC. More importantly, it bans the sale of hemp products with THC to minors.

The bill now waits for Governor Kate Brown’s signature.

According to Representative Lily Morgan, policymakers consulted legal marijuana growers and law enforcement officials while drafting the bill.

The bill will apply to the following marijuana and industrial hemp products:

  • All adult-use cannabis
  • Artificially derived cannabinoids
  • Delta-9 THC

What Else Will Happen When the Governor Signs the Bill?

If Governor Brown approves the legislation, the following will also take effect:

  • The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission will have the authority to set THC concentration limits for hemp products sold in the market.
  • The ODA will also have the authority to provide licenses for hemp product manufacturers.
  • The ODA will submit its hemp production and manufacturing plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which they withdrew last year.
  • It will allow ODA to effectively regulate the production and manufacture of hemp in the state. 
  • The bill offers support to law enforcement officials to combat illegal cannabis growth. This is currently booming in Jackson County.

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Current Marijuana Laws in Oregon

Under the adult-use marijuana laws in the state, only OLCC-licensed retailers can sell cannabis. Moreover, all consumers must be ages 21 and older to purchase cannabis or cannabis products. They can buy the following at one time or in a day: 

  • 1 ounce (28 grams) of cannabis flower 
  • 16 ounces (454 grams) of a cannabis product in solid form
  • 72 ounces (2 liters) in liquid form
  • 5 grams for smoking or vaping
  • 5 grams of concentrates
  • Four immature plants
  • Ten seeds

There are also laws for the maximum THC limit available in a product intended for adult cannabis use. Each container can contain up to:

  • 50 milligrams in edibles
  • 6% in topicals
  • 1 gram in tinctures
  • 100 mg in capsules
  • 1 gram in extracts
  • 1 gram in any other items not intended for human consumption

On the other hand, patients and their caregivers can buy medicinal marijuana from a licensed and registered retailer or dispensary. They can buy:

  • 24 ounces (680 grams) of flower
  • 16 ounces (454 grams) of a cannabis product in solid form
  • 72 ounces (2 liters) in liquid form
  • 16 ounces of concentrates
  • 5 grams of extract
  • Four immature plants
  • 50 seeds

There are regulations on the maximum THC limit of a container full of medical cannabis products. This includes: 

  • 100 milligrams in edibles
  • 6% in topicals
  • 4 grams in tinctures
  • 4 grams capsules
  • 4 grams in extracts
  • 4 grams in items not intended for human consumption

Retailers can deliver marijuana products to patients, caregivers, and adult-use consumers throughout the state. In fact, registered retailers who serve medical marijuana to patients can deliver these products to places in Oregon where marijuana sales are still not permitted.

Cannabis storefront.

However, retailers must remember that the Oregon Department of Revenue has a 17% retail sales tax on cannabis and its derivative products. Additionally, some locations have to pay up to 3% in local taxes.

Final Thoughts

In July 2016, the law allowed residents of Oregon to use and possess recreational cannabis. This legalization opened up a new market for cannabis products, including Delta-8 THC.

The OLCC voiced its concerns about Delta-8 THC being unregulated. It urged state lawmakers to introduce new legislation to help regulate the drug within the state.

While some people believe an Oregon Delta-8 Ban is coming, this may not entirely be the case. 

Instead of a ban, regulation of the drug could help the entire industry formalize standards in Oregon. However, it all depends upon how the bill transitions into current laws and how well these laws are enforced.

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