Commission Starts Effort to Limit Unchecked Use of Delta-8-THC, Other Artificially-Derived Cannabinoids

Concern grows about easy access to intoxicants at neighborhood convenience stores

OREGON:  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 March 18, 2021, Commissioners expressed concern about the general availability of this unregulated intoxicating product. The Commission also approved three stipulated settlements for violations committed by OLCC recreational marijuana licensees.

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 by-products 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 rule-making 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 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 the broader issue of intoxicating hemp cannabinoid products in the general marketplace that can be legally sold to minors, and who should be responsible for regulating those products.

“Unregulated hemp has no final product testing,” said Marks. “They only test for Delta-9 in the field. You can’t regulate what you don’t test for. We’re talking about two species of the same plant. And that means that federal and state regulators need to harmonize their oversight of this plant, and work towards across-the-board testing of marijuana and hemp products designed for human consumption before they enter the marketplace.”

The House General Government Committee of the Oregon Legislature is expected to take up the Delta-8-THC issue at a public hearing on Thursday, March 25, where it could consider legislation ensuring that all intoxicating THC products, properly tested and labeled, are sold within the OLCC regulated system and also ban the sale of currently non-regulated Delta-8-THC products to minors under age 21.

The Commission also ratified the following violation fines and suspensions based on stipulated settlements (detailed information on specific cases can be found here on the OLCC website):

STONEY ONLY PORTLAND will surrender its recreational marijuana retailer licenseon the date the sale/transfer of the business is completed, or by 12:00 PM on June 16, 2021, whichever is earlier for two violations.

Licensee is: Stoney Only Portland, LLC; Joseph Babb, Member; Ragna TenEyck, Member; Michael Mullins, Member.

HERB N’ SPRAWL will pay a $4,950 fine and serve a two-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension OR serve a 32-day license suspension for one violation.

Licensees are: Prairie Song Organics, LLC; Yotokko Kilpatrick, Member; Rick Saga, Member.

DEEP ROOTS CANNABIS in Springfield will pay a fine of $3,465  OR serve a 21-day recreational marijuana wholesaler license suspension for one violation.

Licensees are: Premier Concepts, LLC; Mary Jane Wilson, Member; Susie Polen, Member; Braden Smith, Manager.

OLCC Notice of Public Hearing: Marijuana Additives

Notice of Public Hearing: Marijuana Additives

Date and Time:      Monday, November 16, 2020, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

 

Location: Virtual Meeting and via Telephone

To listen to, or participate in, this Public Hearing please call: 1 (571) 317-

3112 and enter access code: 497-665-445#

 

In order to offer oral comment, please email: OLCC.rulemaking@oregon.gov, no later than 9:30 am on Monday, November 16, 2020. The hearing will end at 2:15 pm, if no interested parties have emailed to offer comment by 9:30 am; or 5 minutes after the last oral comment has been recorded into the record.

 

Presiding Officer:  Madeline Kane

Phone: 503-801-5322

Email: olcc.rulemaking@oregon.gov

 

Notice of Proposed Rule-making, including Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact

This rule package updates the requirements for inhalable cannabinoid products that use non-cannabis additives. The rules are being amended to address technical fixes, define and clarify the requirements for non-cannabis additives in inhalable cannabinoid products, and require more transparent ingredient labeling in order to better enable informed choice by consumers. These rules are intended to reinforce the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s ability to protect public health and safety, by specifying the standards for non-cannabis additives being used in inhalable cannabinoid products related to disclosure of ingredients and declarations of intended use.

 

All written comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 23, 2020.

OLCC Compliance Education Bulletin: Medical Sales To A Designated Caregiver

OREGON: The OLCC has added a “Bulletins” section to its Recreational Marijuana Program website with important information for licensees and marijuana worker permit holders.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is providing the following information to: recreational marijuana licensees.

The bulletin is part of OLCC’s compliance education. It is important that you read it, and understand it.If you don’t understand it please contact the OLCC for help.

Failure to understand and follow the information contained in this bulletin could result in an OLCC rules compliance violation affecting your ability to work or operate your business.

A bulletin previously issued by Metrc inadvertently provided the incorrect date for when the CTS functionality change takes place.  The change in Metrc is effective starting September 14, 2020.

Bulletin CE2020-04 covers the following issues:

  • Medical Sales to a Caregiver
  • Sales Limits to Caregivers and Patients
  • New Metrc Functionality – Designating Caregiver Sales

Compliance Education Bulletin CE2020-04 provides updated guidance on medical sales to a Designated Caregiver, sales limits caregivers and patients, and changes in Metrc functionality for caregiver sales.

Medical Sales to a Designated Caregiver

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) provides for patients to designate a caregiver who can purchase and possess marijuana items for the patient. The caregiver’s card references both the caregiver’s and patient’s registration number.

Effective September 14, 2020 new functionality in the Cannabis Tracking System (CTS), Metrc, now allows retailers to designate sales as “caregiver” sales, in addition to consumer and patient. When a caregiver sales is recorded, either manually in Metrc or through API or CSV upload, the retailer must input both the patient and caregiver numbers.

Rules allow for a patient and their caregiver to jointly possess up to 24 ounces of usable marijuana. This is to say, a retailer may sell up to the daily limit under both the patient’s and caregiver’s cards under the caregiver sales. This will go into effect when the daily sales limit returns to 8 ounces on September 18, 2020.

The bulletin describes the new functionality in Metrc and provides a step by step guide to entering a caregiver sales manually in the system. Metrc has previously provided API partners with details on this addition, so they should be ready to use this functionality in their systems.

Questions regarding the contents of this bulletin may be sent to marijuana.cts@oregon.gov.

OLCC Commissioners Ratify Stipulated Alcohol Violations, Licensing Settlements And Takes Action On Rules

Commission Adjusts Alcohol Purchasing Hours to Accommodate Vulnerable Populations

OREGON: At its regularly monthly meeting on April 16, 2020 the Oregon Liquor Control Commission considered the concerns of older adult shoppers and persons with underlying medical conditions, in approving a temporary rule allowing OLCC licensed retailers to begin selling beer, wine and cider beginning at 6:00 AM, an hour earlier than previously allowed. Some grocery stores have been accommodating Oregonians vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus by opening their doors as early as 6:00 AM for these high-risk shoppers.

Many of this segment of shoppers were unaware that sales of alcoholic beverages could start no earlier than 7:00 AM, and complained to grocers and their elected representatives. The OLCC heard concerns that vulnerable populations wanting to purchase beer, wine, and cider were faced with choosing to make multiple trips to the store, or shopping when there were more customers present, thus putting these populations at higher risk.

Commissioners, also adopted temporary amendments that clarify and align delivery privileges for licensees making deliveries of malt beverages wine or cider. These amendments will ease some approval requirements.

“The impact of social distancing impacted these businesses quickly and severely,” said Steve Marks, OLCC Executive Director. “While these delivery methods were previously available to licensees, the Commission is streamlining delivery options to enable these licensees to continue with but a fraction of the business operations that they had prior to the COVID-19 public health crisis.”

Commissioners heard a presentation of oral arguments and rendered decision in the following contested case:

Ashley Groves Service permitee, Ashley Groves, shall be suspended for 10 days unless a civil penalty in the amount of $250 is paid within 10 days of the issuance of the final order for drinking alcoholic beverages while on duty at a licensed premise. Further, the Commission adopted staff’s exceptions to remove the second charge of allowing a patron to mix, dispense or serve alcoholic beverages for or to themselves for on premise consumption.

Commissioners ratified the following violation fines and suspensions based on stipulated settlement:

FIDO’S (F-COM) in Tigard, Licensee will install age verification and pay a $330 civil penalty or serve a two-day suspension for one violation.

Licensee is VSR Corporation; Scott Porter, President/Secretary/Stockholder; Vee Porter, VP/Treasure/Stockholder.

LU’S SPORTS BAR AND LOUNGE (F-COM) in Tigard, will serve a 23-day suspension or a $3,795 civil penalty for two violations.

Licensee is Lu’s Buffet, Inc.; Xu Jian Lu, President/Secretary/Treasurer/Director/Stockholder.

WHOLE FOODS MARKET in Tigard will pay a $1,485 civil penalty or serve a nine-day suspension one violation.

Licensee is Whole Foods Market Pacific NW, Inc. Keith Manbeck, President; Albert Percival, Secretary; Whole Foods Market, Inc., Stockholder; Anthony Gallo, President; Heather Stern, Vice President/Secretary; Michael Deal, Director; Walnut Sub Properties, LLC, Stockholder; Walnut Sub Enterprises, LLC, Member; Michael Deal, Manager; Amazon.com Services, Inc., Member; Michael Deal, President/Secretary/Treasurer; Jeff Van Hove, Vice President; Amazon.com, Inc., Stockholder.

WOODBURN MEGA FOODS in Woodburn, will pay a $1,485 civil penalty or serve a nine-day suspension one violation.

Licensee is B & E4, LLC; Bobby Ellis, Managing Member; Julie Ellis, Member.

RINGO’S BAR & GRILL in Beaverton surrendered its license on March 12, 2020, and the Commission accepted the surrender. Licensee will accept a Letter of Reprimand for one violation.

Licensee is Sunshower, Inc.; Joseph Ringo, President/Director/Stockholder; Kathleen Ringo, Sec/Director/Stockholder.

Temporary action taken on:

OAR 845-006-0425 – Hours of Sale. The temporary amendments to this rule would allow the sale of alcohol to start at 6:00 am; and thus, enable Oregonians who are at a higher risk for severe illness, such as older adults, to be in the store at a time when there are fewer customers in the store. These amendments are effective April 17th through October 13th, 2020.

OAR 845-005-0424 – Guidelines for Approval of a For-Hire Carrier’s Plan for Delivery of Malt Beverages, Wine or Cider. The temporary amendments align permissible delivery hours for carriers with the hours provided to direct shipper permit holders and off-premises sales licensees during the COVID-19 pandemic. These amendments are effective April 17th through October 13th, 2020.

OAR 845-005-0417 – Qualifications for Direct Shipment and Retail Delivery of Malt Beverages, Wine, or Cider to a Resident of Oregon. The temporary amendments eliminate the requirement for licensees, who are able to deliver malt beverages, wine and cider to Oregon residents, to obtain prior approval for same-day delivery.

Oregon Marijuana Retail Licensees Allowed To Provide Curbside Delivery

Temporary Rule Aligns With Governor’s Executive Order to Promote Social Distancing

OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved a temporary rule that supports social distancing to promote prevention of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, by allowing licensed marijuana retailers to conduct limited transactions outside their licensed premises.  The action will permit retail licensees to take orders and deliver product from the retail store to a person who is outside of the store and within 150 feet of the retailer’s licensed premises.

At an emergency meeting to consider temporary rules impacting the business activity of OLCC licensees in the alcohol and marijuana industry, the Commission took its action to promote social distancing in the wake of the COVID-19 virus.  The Commission’s action aligns with the Governor’s Executive Order that prohibits public gatherings of 25 people or more, and encourages people to distance themselves by at least 3 feet while in public.

The temporary rule also increases the amount of flower that OMMP cardholders and caregivers can purchase to 24 ounces per day and no more than 32 ounces per month. This change temporarily increases the daily purchase limit for OMMP cardholders to match their personal possession limit. This rule does not change the total monthly amount a cardholder or caregiver is currently permitted to purchase from an OLCC-licensed retailer.

The temporary action that the Commission has taken is designed to balance the protection of public health while at the same time helping struggling businesses.  Marijuana industry guidance can be found here.

“Every single decision that this agency is making, both for the liquor and the marijuana industries, are there for the consideration of helping people make a living and continue to make a living,” said Paul Rosenbaum, OLCC Commission Chair.

During the period of March 1-18, 2020, OLCC marijuana retailers have seen a 25-30% increase in sales compared to the same period last year.  Retail marijuana stores remain open, but these changes will let them operate in a way that is consistent with the guidance from the Executive Order by decreasing in-store activity.

However the OLCC made it clear that if individual licensees take advantage of the temporary rule by disrupting public safety or public health that the rule could be suspended for the whole industry.

“We’re asking our retailers to make sure to work with the community and local officials so that this can happen in a safe and non-obstructive way to city services, otherwise we’ll need to make changes,” said Steve Marks, OLCC Executive Director.

OLCC Revised Agenda March Commission Meeting


OREGON: Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we are abbreviating our agenda and holding our commission meeting via conference call. An audio recording of the meeting will be posted on our website after the meeting.

Thursday, March 19, 2020 – 9:00 a.m.

REVISED AGENDA

OLCC Commissioners:

Chairman Paul Rosenbaum
Jennifer Currin
Kiauna Floyd
Michael Harper
Matthew Maletis
Hugh Palcic
Marvin Révoal

For more information, contact: 503-872-5006 / 1-800-452-6522

laura.paul@oregon.gov

OLCC Commission Approves Marijuana Licensee Stipulated Settlements

OREGON: At its monthly meeting on February 20, 2020, the Commissioners of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission approved three marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements:

Slabtown in Portland will pay a fine of $5,280 AND serve a 32-day recreational marijuana retailer license suspension for two violations.

  • Licensee is: Slabtown Proprietors, LLC; Portadelphia, LLC, Member; Albert Corrado, Member/Manager; Rose City Brands, LLC, Member; Troy Patterson, Member; CannaRefinery, LLC, Member; Alexandra lmholz, Member/Manager; Kyler Buck, Member/Manager.

Home Grown Apothecary in Portland will surrender its recreational marijuana retailer license AND each licensee agrees to accept a letter of reprimand for three violations.

  • Licensees are: New Horizons Consultants, LLC; Randa Shahin, Member; Joshua Larkin, Member.

Oso Verde Farms* will pay a fine of $4,950 AND serve a 60-day recreational marijuana producer license suspension OR pay a fine of $9,900 for five violations.

  • Licensees are: Oso Verde, LLC; Britton Price, Managing Member; Kendra Freeman, Managing Member.

OLCC Creates Podcast Focusing On Oversight Of Oregon’s Recreational Marijuana Industry

Screenshot 2019-10-30 12.46.45

Flavored Vaping Ban Spotlighted in Latest Episode of “In the Weeds — The Ultimate OLCC Potcast”

OREGON:The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has published the latest episode of its occasional podcast, “In the Weeds – The Ultimate OLCC Potcast.”  Episode Four of “In the Weeds” focuses on the THC vaping respiratory illness crisis and Oregon’s ban on flavored THC vaping products.

“In the Weeds” launched in April 2019 using the podcast format to provide more digestible details and nugget-sized information about the regulations and rules governing Oregon’s regulated marijuana industry. The podcast, aimed at OLCC recreational marijuana licensees, their employees and others interested in the legal marijuana industry, is a more conversational approach to explain the expectations and guidelines for operating a legal marijuana business.

“It’s just the three of us – sometimes with a guest – sitting around talking about the rules, which is something we do every day anyway,” said Amanda Borup, OLCC Recreational Marijuana Policy Analyst, and one of the co-hosts of “In the Weeds.  “And although listening to our discussion should be helpful, it doesn’t mean listening to the podcast is a substitute for reading the rules.”

The other co-hosts of the “In the Weeds” podcast are TJ Sheehy, Manager of the OLCC’s Marijuana Technical Unit, and Mark Pettinger, OLCC spokesperson.

“We figured this would be a good way to help people working in the industry understand what is and isn’t allowed in the rules,” said Sheehy.  “People in the industry, whether they’re in the front office or on the farm in-the-field, can listen and hopefully share what they learn.”

The fourth episode of “In the Weeds” includes a discussion about the ban on flavored THC vaping products; a conversation with Steve Marks, OLCC Executive Director, about the vaping crisis and on-going compliance activities.  The podcast also covers changes in the marijuana license application and renewal process.

The podcast is available through SoundCloud as well as on iTunes, GooglePlay, Spotify, and TuneIn.

Audio From Oregon Liquor Control Commission Meeting On Vaping Rules

OREGON: Special Oregon Liquor Control Commission Meeting Audio from October 11, 2019: Discussion of Vaping Rules.OLCC Special Meeting Notes

Friday, October 11, 2019

AUDIO

Staff presentation of the issues and 
Commissioners discussion and decision of vaping rules.

For more information, contact: 503-872-5006 / 1-800-452-6522

laura.paul@oregon.gov

Commission Meeting Calendar

Oregon Health Authority & Oregon Liquor Control Commission Will Hold Press Conference On Temporary Vaping Ban

Agencies Will Explain Temporary Rules & Implementation Process for Banning the Sale of Flavored Nicotine and THC Vaping Products

OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will hold a joint press conference Friday, October 11, 2019to discuss the adoption of temporary rules resulting from an Executive Order issued by Oregon Governor Kate Brown to address the vaping health crisis.

Leadership and staff from the OLCC and OHA’s Public Health Division will explain the implications of and the implementation process of their respective temporary rules which establish a temporary ban on the sale of flavored nicotine and THC vaping products.

The press conference will take place approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the OLCC Commission’s special meeting, and will be held in the Commission meeting room at OLCC headquarters in Portland.

There will NOT be a public live audio or video feed from the press conference.

The OLCC special commission meeting will start 11:30 AM.

The OLCC Headquarters is located at: 9079 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Portland, OR 97222.