New Restrictions On Synthetic Marijuana: Harm To The Cannabis Industry?

Beginning July 1, the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) will be restricting the sale of some artificially derived synthetic cannabinoids in the state, reported the Oregonian.

The restricted compounds – namely artificially-derived CBN – will only be sold in OLCC dispensaries and only if they are “Generally Recognized As Safe” by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“(CBN) is like Ambien,” said Hunter Neubauer, co-founder of Oregrown and a board member of the Oregon Cannabis Association. “You take a gummy and get the same effect, and feel great in the morning. It’s unfortunate we’re going to lose that.”

Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) are two of the more than 100 cannabinoids that have been identified in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are chemicals that have the potential to interact with a series of receptors in your body collectively known as the endocannabinoid system.

Delta 8, another synthetic cannabinoid that exists in minuscule amounts within a cannabis plant. Unlike CBN, delta 8 can be intoxicating, though much less so than delta 9 THC. However, the process of converting parts of the cannabis plant to delta 8, is what concerns regulators such as the FDA.

“We have testing for pesticides. 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,” said Steven Crowley, the hemp and processing compliance specialist with the OLCC.

For cannabis industry pros like Neubauer, this move seems to be overreacting on the part of regulators.

“There’s a lot of press around the illegal grows and human trafficking,” Neubauer said. “A lot of people weren’t abiding by the regulatory framework of the (Oregon Department of Agriculture). Once an agency outlaws something without looking into the science or facts, you’re entering into dangerous territory. It’s a little bit of a knee-jerk reaction.

“Delta 8 is intoxicating; it should be regulated by the OLCC,” Neubauer added. “CBN is really the victim here. There are not a lot of delta 8 products on the market.”

Starting July 2023, the OLCC will begin restricting the sale of synthetically derived cannabinoids to those that have received the “Generally Recognized As Safe” label from the FDA.

Photo: Courtesy Of Add Weed On Unsplash

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