PORTLAND, Ore (KOIN) — The Oregon Liquor Control Commission pushed a ruling on Thursday to limit the unchecked use of Delta-8-THC and other artificial cannabinoids in Oregon Cannabis products.
Delta-8 THC is one of the four most common cannabinoids and contains properties that can increase appetite and reduce nausea, anxiety and pain. While it can produce some psychotropic effects in certain people, it is considered less potent than its cousin, Delta-9 THC, which is the primary form of THC found in most cannabis products.
Delta-8-THC has grown in popularity over the last couple of years, not only emerging in the cannabis supply chain and for sale nationwide but also in unregulated convenience stores.
Commissioners on Thursday expressed concern that unlike Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 remains unregulated. It’s not addressed in the Oregon statutes, nor is it included in Oregon Health Authority marijuana concentration limits. There is also no testing for Delta-8 THC or the by-products included in its chemical conversion.
Despite this, Delta-8 THC is widely available for purchase outside the OLCC adult-use market.
“When this was brought to my attention alarm bells went off in my head,” said Paul Rosenbaum, OLCC Commission Chair at Thursday’s meeting. “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.”
Commissioners proposed a rulemaking that would only address the presence of Delta-8 THC and other artificially-derived cannabinoids in products grown, manufactured and sold in Oregon. Still, commissioners said that in order to effectively regulate the availability of these products, legislative action will be necessary.
“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.”
The House General Government Committee of the Oregon Legislature is expected to have a public hearing on Delta-8 THC next Thursday. The committee may consider legislation that requires all intoxicating THC products be properly tested, labeled and sold within the OLCC regulated system. They may also consider banning the sale of existing non-regulated Delta-8-THC products to folks under 21.