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OLCC’s Role in Regulating Oregon Hemp Products

Dice WIDE

On July 19, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed HB 3000 into law. This was a large, omnibus bill which will broadly impact Oregon’s hemp industry. Recently I wrote about how the new law will impact Delta-8 THC products derived from hemp. This post will focus on HB 3000’s requirements for all consumer products containing hemp and the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) role in regulating the products.

The OLCC, with input from the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA), establish rules for:

  1. The maximum concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol permitted in a single serving of an industrial hemp product;
  2. The maximum concentration of any other cannabinoid, adult use cannabinoid or artificially derived cannabinoid that is permitted in a single serving of an industrial hemp product; and
  3. The number of servings that are permitted in a package of industrial hemp products.

HB 3000 goes further, imposing new requirements for all hemp commodities and products sold to consumers (i.e., sold to a person who does not intend to resell the product):

Testing. Industrial hemp products must be tested by a lab licensed by the OLCC and accredited by OHA or by an accredited lab approved by the ODA. If the products are tested out-of-state, then lab standards must be at least as stringent as the Oregon standards. These products will be tested for microbiological contaminants, pesticides, other contaminants, solvents or residual solvents, Adult Use Cannabinoids and cannabidiol concentrations. The OLCC may also implement testing requirements specifically related to food safety. The person selling, transferring, or delivering, an industrial hemp commodity or product must obtain and maintain test results.

Food Safety. Industrial hemp products intended for consumption by ingestion (e.g., food, beverages, supplements, etc.) must be processed in facilities that hold a food safety license from the ODA (See ORS 616.695 to 616.755) or a facility in another state or jurisdictions that meets the food safety standards established in Oregon state.

Sales to Minors. If the industrial hemp commodity or product is sold to individuals under the age of 21, or if there are any representations about delta-8 THC are made about the product, the testing must indicate the delta-8 THC concentration.

Adult Use Cannabinoids. The industrial hemp commodity or product must not exceed Adult Use Cannabinoid standards set by OLCC. For more on this, click the link to my last HB 3000 post in the first paragraph.

These new requirements for consumable hemp products and commodities are focused on consumer safety. Most of the requirements are well-established in other contexts. The testing requirements are pulled from Oregon’s marijuana laws and the requirement for a food safety license is common to all businesses handling food, regardless of the presence of hemp. HB 3000’s treatment of hemp commodities and products appears reasonable on its face.

What remains to be seen is how the OLCC handles its new role in overseeing hemp products. The rules that OLCC develops are going to be key. Hemp is not as tightly regulated as marijuana or alcohol, substances that the OLCC knows well. Furthermore, hemp is not a federally controlled substance, making interstate trade not only legal, but essential to the operations of most hemp businesses, such that OLCC’s rules will have a nationwide impact that could potentially make or break Oregon’s still fledgling hemp industry. We certainly hope the Commissioners of OLCC will bear this in mind when considering their new rulemaking authority. Oregon cannabis stakeholders should keep a close eye on the OLCC and make sure to remain involved as the OLCC proposes rules in light of HB 3000.

You can contact Daniel Shortt at info@gl-lg.com or (206) 430-1336.