PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregonians 21 and over will soon be able to purchase much stronger edibles as the state raises potency restrictions this Friday — but the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission warns the recent increase means consumers must “know their limits.”

As part of Oregon’s new cannabis rules, licensed cannabis shops can begin selling edible packages which contain up to 100mg THC and 10mg THC per serving, beginning April 1. 

The new rules allow stores to sell edibles which are nearly twice as strong as those allowed under the previous limits. Prior to the upcoming switch, cannabis stores could only sell packages with up to 50mg THC and 5mg per serving.

“Cannabis consumers in Oregon shopping for THC infused edibles will soon find some products available for purchase that are more potent than previously allowed,” the OLCC stated Thursday. “Consumers should take notice of the increased amount of THC per serving in these products so they can choose a product that gives them a desired effect without unwanted side effects.”

According to the OLCC, edibles with lower THC contents will still be available for purchase in accordance with the commission’s guidelines. The upcoming change will raise Oregon’s potency limits to match those allowed in several other states which have also legalized cannabis sales. 

Although many cannabis consumers have been advocating for the rise in edible potency, the increase does not come without a warning. 

According to the OLCC, access to stronger edibles could mean more cases of cannabis overconsumption, as recent data showed in 2019, of the 386 cannabis-related calls to Oregon Poison Control, 34% were the result of edible consumption and nearly half of the calls made required further medical attention.

“With increased THC potency comes an increased effect from using these products so consumers should be more aware of potential side effects, especially in the event of over consumption,” the OLCC warned. “Since THC products became more readily available in Oregon, calls to the Oregon Poison Control have increased.

To help consumers avoid overconsumption, whole edibles that exceed 55mg THC are required to be clearly marked into equal portion sizes, so that customers can easily determine appropriate amounts. 

As of the publication of this article, the commission has already greenlit labels for 30 products containing 100mg edibles to be sold in Oregon stores, including chocolate and cereal bars, cookies and gummies.

In a joint statement Thursday, the Oregon Health Authority and OLCC said they suggest, “cannabis edible consumers, especially first-time users, consume in a safe place with someone not using cannabis, start with a small serving, and give themselves time to react to the THC.”

The OLCC recommends consumers call the Oregon Poison Center at 1.800.222.1222 if they or someone they know experiences an “adverse reaction” to a cannabis edible.