Oregon Bans Synthetic Cannabis

Oregon is set to become the first US state to ban the sale of synthetic cannabinoid products.

Beginning July 1, all supermarkets and certain other retailers will no longer be able to sell products such as gummies infused with delta-8 THC and CBN.

Then, starting from July 2023, synthetic cannabinoid products will be allowed to be sold, but only in cannabis shops sanctioned by the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC). As reported by the Oregonian, the products will also have to have undergone rigorous testing and have received approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

The OLCC says the ban is due to safety concerns about the chemicals used in the production of synthetic cannabinoids.

“We have testing for pesticides. We have testing for residual solvents from the extraction process. 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, or for any of the byproducts of that reaction,” Steven Crowley, the OLCC’s hemp and processing compliance specialist, told the Oregonian.

Speaking to Analytical Cannabis last year, Christopher Hudalla, chief scientific officer at the cannabis testing company ProVerde Labs, also commented on the health and safety risks associated with the common production methods of synthetic cannabinoids like delta-8 THC.  

“It’s very easy to do in your garage,” he told Analytical Cannabis. “CBD is almost free. There’s so much oversupply of CBD that it’s very, very inexpensive. It used to be something like 12 cents a milligram. Now I can buy it for probably 0.1 cents a milligram.”

“And you can take that and, in your garage, convert it into delta-8. So there’s very good margins in it.”

“There’s no regulatory control,” he added. “And so we know children are consuming these products without any indication about how safe they are. That’s hugely irresponsible in my opinion.”

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