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Oregon restrictions on delta-8 and CBN take effect



New rules going into effect this week in Oregon mean delta-8 THC and most other lab-altered cannabinoids must be taken off grocery store shelves before this Friday, July 1. Sales of these compounds will still be allowed in cannabis dispensaries.


The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission approved regulatory changes Dec. 28, which apply to what they call “synthetic cannabinoids,” even if they’re not intoxicating.


While compounds including delta-8 and CBN occur naturally in trace amounts because of oxidation from exposure to air and sunlight, the forms being sold are not extracted directly but converted from CBD in chemical processes.


Regulators have said they’re restricting the products because of concerns about the chemicals used in production, reports The Oregonian.


Regulators have said they’re restricting the products because of concerns about the chemicals used in production, reports The Oregonian.


“We have testing for pesticides. We have testing for residual solvents from the extraction process. We don’t have any testing for any of the whole universe of chemical reagents that you could use to synthetically turn one cannabinoid into something else, or for any of the byproducts of that reaction,” Steven Crowley, a hemp and processing compliance specialist with the OLCC, told The Oregonian.


The bar will get even higher next year year. July 1, 2023, companies selling CBN products will need a federal approval that the ingredient is “Generally Recognized as Safe” or has passed review as a “new dietary ingredient.”


The bar will get even higher next year year. July 1, 2023, companies selling CBN products will need a federal approval that the ingredient is “Generally Recognized as Safe” or has passed review as a “new dietary ingredient.”


This may prove difficult or even impossible, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to create a framework for regulating and approving hemp derivatives. In fact, the agency has already rejected applications from respected CBD companies seeking approval for products as a new dietary ingredient.


Oregon-based cannabis companies Wyld and Grön have opposed the state's rule changes. Removing popular products from grocery stores, they argue, will be a loss for companies and customers.


“The Wyld elderberry CBN gummy is the number one selling gummy on earth right now,” Gabe Parton Lee, general counsel at Wyld and Wyld CBD, told The Oregonian. “It’s 20%-30% of our revenue depending on the state. People love it.”


Parton Lee said the company supports regulations to ensure safety, but seemed worried about the cost of testing the OLCC will require by July 2023. In addition, restricting the CBN gummy to OLCC-licensed dispensaries will diminish sales.


“They may not want to go shop at an OLCC retailer or pay the prices that are up there,” Parton Lee said, “because they are definitely charging a higher price in the OLCC regulated market than they are at New Seasons.”


Wyld gathered signatures for a petition urging the OLCC to reconsider the ban on minor cannabinoids, but the agency has not altered course. The pushback was likely expected.


Wyld gathered signatures for a petition urging the OLCC to reconsider the ban on minor cannabinoids, but the agency has not altered course. The pushback was likely expected.


When the new rules were approved, OLCC Commissioner Matt Maletis said, “It may not make everybody happy, but it’s a pathway, and I think it solves a lot of the issues.”


Are other states likely to follow Oregon’s lead? Some are already looking at policies to restrict lab-altered cannabinoids, Destiny Johnson reported for The Oregonian.


“While Oregon will be the first state to enact a ban of synthetic cannabinoids in the open market, it likely will not be the last,” Johnson wrote. “The OLCC is part of a national nonpartisan group of government cannabis regulators. Other states, a spokesperson for OLCC said, are examining similar bans and policies.”

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