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As of April 1, Oregon cannabis dispensaries are now officially able to sell recreational edibles that contain twice as much THC per package as previously allowed by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). The change comes after years of pushback from Oregon cannabis retailers, asking the OHA to align the state's recreational dosage limits with those in Washington, California, and Colorado.
The bill responsible for this, SB 408, was passed in June 2021, and ever since it went into effect on January 1 of this year, Oregon cannabis consumers may have noticed an increase to the amount of flower they can purchase (2 ounces per adult, per day) and doubled THC dosage limits for transdermal patches, extracts, and concentrates.
In an effort to reduce plastic waste, dispensaries are also no longer required to put all purchases in those wasteful, child-resistant safety bags—sometimes called "exit packaging."
SB 408 gave the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) the authority to set concentration and serving size limits for recreational and medical marijuana. It also mandated that the OLCC increase the potency limit of recreational edibles to 100 milligrams of THC per package and 10 milligrams per serving—the limits in Washington, California, and Colorado.
Although "doubling" sounds extreme this actually just brings us in line with what Washington, California, and Colordao already allow and they seem fine.
“Oregon consumers deserve products with the same concentration limits as adult-use consumers in other states with regulated cannabis markets, and we applaud this common-sense reform," Casey Houlihan, the executive director of Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association, told the Mercury.
“Concentration limits for edibles had been set in OHA rule,” Houlihan said. “But after years of gridlock and an unwillingness on the part of that agency to engage with this issue, we ultimately took this concern to the legislature—and they fixed this problem statute, as well as placed this area of regulation under the purview of the OLCC moving forward.”
Oregon's previous edible dosage guidelines were set by OHA in 2016 as part of a "Try 5" campaign that sought to ease new users into the tricky world of edible dosage.
The latest data provided by the OLCC states that 34 percent of the 386 cannabis exposure calls to the Oregon Poison Control in 2019 were related to the consumption of edibles. About half of these calls required serious medical attention. Nearly 60 percent of the calls that involved children, teens, and adults younger than 21 years old were edible-related.
Although the OLCC warned consumers to take notice of the increase in available edible serving size, the new serving size requirement may make things easier for consumers to estimate consumption. Although it only applies to edibles—like chocolate bars, candy, and baked goods—that exceed 55 milligrams of THC per container, SB 408 requires the products now be "scored" or sectioned in a way that allows cannabis users to easily identify what a single serving looks like—instead of losing a whole day to a delightful bonbon that contained two servings of THC. So far, the OLCC has approved labels for 30 different 100 milligram edible products.
“The Oregon Health Authority and OLCC recommends that 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 stated on the eve of the new edibles policy. “Consumers should call the Poison Center, at 1-800-222-1222, if they or someone they’re with is experiencing an adverse reaction.”