Pubdate: Thu, 12 May 2016
Source: Portland Mercury (OR)
Column: Ask a Pot Lawyer
Copyright: 2016 The Portland Mercury
Author: Vince Sliwoski


Here's What You Need to Know About the New Rules for Edibles, 
Topicals, and Concentrates

I HEARD we all get to buy cannabis edibles soon. How does this work?

Mark your calendar for Thursday, June 2. Those who are 21 and over 
will be able to buy edibles-and extracts and topicals, too.

You may recall that a few months back, the Oregon Legislature passed 
an "emergency" raft of weed bills. One of them authorized expansion 
of the early-start program, under which regular joes have bought 
flower and plants at medical marijuana dispensaries since last 
October. Because the early-start program was successful, and because 
the Oregon Health Authority's (OHA) regulatory infrastructure was 
close to built out, the legislature said "sure."

Needless to say, there is ample consumer demand for edible pot and 
extracts. In Colorado, for example, those products account for nearly 
half of all sales in the adult-use market. And there's no reason to 
believe Oregon will be much different. Early-sales boosters have 
argued that these sales should immediately help shrink the black 
market, which of course is a plus. I am not confident that this can 
be accurately measured or verified, but I agree, yes, it seems like a plus.

The June 2 date was tagged last week in some OHA temporary draft 
rules. The rules remain "subject to minor edits," but June 2 as the 
date is certain. Also certain is the fact that dispensaries will be 
allowed to sell: (1) one cannabinoid edible containing no more than 
15 milligrams THC, per customer, per day; (2) non-psychoactive 
cannabinoid topicals ("applied to skin or hair") containing no more 
than 6 percent THC; and (3) one pre-filled receptacle of extract 
containing no more than 1,000 milligrams of THC. Whether those 
parameters will hold when the full retail market comes online is 
anybody's guess.

On June 2, when you walk into a dispensary to buy these things, it 
will be similar to buying flower or plants. The dispensary is going 
to ensure you are 21 years old by checking identification, and jot 
down your date of birth. While that is the full extent of information 
the dispensary must collect from you, it also must record the date 
and sale price, and collect a stout 25 percent sales tax. Nothing in 
the rules prevents insatiable shoppers from visiting multiple 
dispensaries to repeat this process in a given day. (Please do not 
say I advised you to do that. And recall that Oregon's generous 
possession limits still apply.)

These sales through existing medical dispensaries will continue 
through the end of the year. By then, the recreational (retail) 
program will be up and running and the sales tax hit will drop to 
either 17 or 20 percent, depending on where you live. Expect some 
price volatility between now and then, and for products to come and 
go as weed processors refine their operations and dispensaries curate 
their shelves. All in all, it should make for an interesting summer.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom