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OLCC makes major revisions to cannabis rules, adds hemp standards and regulations

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) – At a special meeting Tuesday, The Oregon Alcohol and Cannabis Commission has approved significant changes to regulate the legal marijuana industry and established standards to regulate hemp products sold in the general Oregon market.

“The changes to the recreational marijuana package of rules reflect the rapid evolution of the cannabis industry and the blurring of the distinctions between hemp and the marijuana product,” the OLCC said in a statement. press release, which continues in full below.

The legal cannabis industry has worked with the OLCC for the past 18 months to develop the new rules, which help streamline regulatory oversight of day-to-day business activities, reduce infractions, expand consumer choices and establish safeguards to prevent children from accessing hemp-based products. containing THC.

The new rules will take effect on January 1, 2022, but the implementation of some regulations will extend until 2023.

“These rules attempt to balance a number of different concerns – the health and safety of consumers, the interests of small and large operators in our industry, and public safety concerns about the shortcomings of the 2018 Federal Farm Bill and the illicit agricultural production taking place in Oregon, ”said OLCC Executive Director Steve Marks.

Two pieces of legislation, the House Bill 3000 and the Senate Bill 408, approved by the Oregon Legislature in 2021 have resulted in several changes. HB 3000 has established a framework to limit the unregulated sale of THC-laden hemp products in Oregon. SB 408 provided the OLCC with an overview of restructuring penalties for rule violations by licensees.

Some of the categories of violations dated back to 2016, when Oregon first licensed recreational marijuana, and when federal intervention was of greater concern. When the new rules take effect, Oregon will be better aligned with other adult cannabis states and position itself as a legal export market as the groundwork is laid for federal legalization.

To ensure that hemp products containing large amounts of THC do not mix with general market products, the commission approved a rule limiting the general market sale of edible hemp products to 2 mg of THC in a single serving, and up to 20 mg of THC per container of hemp product. This rule comes into effect on July 1, 2022. This approach attempts to set certain limits, in the absence of federal guidelines.

Another change requires that non-intoxicating artificial cannabinoids go through the regular regulatory review process required for ingredients in dietary supplements or food products. For the OLCC to approve something like cannabinol (CBN) in the future, the CBN would have to meet the standard for a New Food Ingredient Notification, Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). However, OLCC licensees will have 18 months to bring their CBN products into compliance.

“It might not make everyone happy, but it is a path, and I think it solves a lot of problems,” said OLCC commissioner Matt Maletis.

The rule set reflects a recognition of the legal cannabis industry’s ability to follow regulations and the threat of extinction of federal action against the growing number of states allowing the consumption of medical and non-medical cannabis. adult.

The commission approved a large-scale reclassification of violations, including reducing the types of violations that could result in the cancellation of a license by the OLCC. This is the third of four steps to overhaul the violation and sanction process; in 2022, the OLCC will work to reduce penalties for offenses committed.

Additionally, under the new rules, consumers will be able to purchase two ounces of usable marijuana – up from one ounce starting Jan. 1. Edible concentration limits will drop from 50 mg of THC to 100 mg per package from April 1. 2022; however, individual servings (no more than 10 mg THC) should be noted, to make serving sizes obvious.

Home delivery will now be allowed across cities and counties, provided local authorities approve it. This new rule will allow consumers who currently live where delivery does not exist to be served by a business in a city or county that already has delivery. Previously, delivery was limited only to the city or county where a cannabis retailer is located. The OLCC plans to add a new section to its website so that licensees and consumers are informed of any change in delivery area.

Additional rule changes included reducing the time and costs for licensees to report the marking and harvests of marijuana plants in the state’s cannabis tracking system and improving the capacity of licensees. license to distribute their products themselves.

“We have listened to the public and made some significant changes to these rules, and I want to reiterate that we have come a very long way,” said Marks. “And this industry has established success for Oregon. We are creating a thriving business market, a thriving consumer market. This is another great advance.

In anticipation of upcoming market changes, the OLCC will now begin accepting labeling requests for marijuana edibles that exceed 50 mg of THC in the package. Foods that exceed 50 mg of THC will not be eligible for sale until April 1, 2022whether or not a label has been approved.

A draft of the newly approved rules is available on the OLCC website.