The Oregon Liquor Control Commission recently raised the limit from 10 milligrams of THC per container to 50 milligrams of THC per container for hemp concentrates, extracts and tinctures.
State cannabis regulators raised the per-container THC limit on hemp concentrates, extracts and tinctures sold within OLCC-licensed marijuana dispensaries.
The new rule from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission allows a hemp concentrate, extract or tincture (extract dissolved in ethanol) to contain up to 50 milligrams total THC per container. Those items previously were limited to no more than 10 milligrams total THC per container.
Though hemp now is legal to grow nationwide and is regulated in Oregon by the agriculture department, OLCC controls what is out of compliance with federal law. Because some locally grown hemp still exceeds federal THC restrictions, it was up to OLCC to change these rules.
“This provides an out for those hemp crops that exceed the federal limit,” said Oregon State University Global Hemp Innovation Center Director Jay Noller. “They will have an additional market.”
OLCC Hemp and Processing Technician Steven Crowley said, “Marijuana tinctures, extracts and concentrates may contain up to 1,000 milligrams THC per container, so the new limits on the hemp versions of these products are still only a fraction of what the equivalent marijuana item can have.”
OLCC allows hemp concentrates and extracts to contain up to 5% THC, Crowley said in an email, so the rule change now will allow those items to be sold in 1-gram units. Hemp tinctures were likewise heavily constrained by the 10 milligrams per container limit.
“Most whole hemp tinctures seem to contain 20 milligrams to 40 milligrams THC along with several hundred milligrams of CBD,” Crowley said.
For Central Point-based Sun God Medicinals, the rule change reverses a 2019 OLCC decision that limited the sale of some of their products.
“Every single one of our tinctures or droppers are back in business, because we were only a few milligrams over the 10 milligrams limit with our products,” said CEO Brie Malarkey. “What it allows us to do is stay true to whole plant herbalism. We can maintain being certified organic because the naturally occuring levels of THC that are present in the hemp plant would still be allowed in there.”
Malarkey spent the last year lobbying OLCC for the rule change. Though she said regulations are well intended, they sometimes fail to consider the whole picture. In her company’s case, Sun God Medicinals had to decrease the use of their certified organic, naturally grown hemp to lower THC, which also lowered CBD content.
“We can’t use CBD isolate, which is using harsh chemicals in many practices to isolate it down into a single molecule,” she said. “You’ll see a lot of CBD-only product companies out there that are really promoting high CBD content and zero THC, and that’s how they can get closer to that, because they’re not taking the whole plant.”
The rule change did not affect hemp edibles, which are still capped at 10 milligrams per unit and 1 milligram per serving, Crowley said.
Follow Adam Duvernay on Twitter @DuvernayOR or email firstname.lastname@example.org.