Frank Van Pelt, employee of Hemp Inc., sorts moldy hemp plants in the White City warehouse.
Oregon lawmakers are trying to regulate a lesser-known compound found in cannabis. It is a man-made product made from hemp that creates great value but is sold with few restrictions.
House Bill 3000 targets the compound known as Delta-8-THC, which is derived from hemp. Currently, processors can extract CBD from hemp. It is then used in countless health products. However, CBD can be chemically processed to obtain Delta 8, which has mildly intoxicating effects.
“You grow high-CBD hemp, you take that hemp and process it into CBD – okay, no problem so far,” says Rep. Marty Wilde. “But then you process the CBD with chemicals to turn it into an intoxicating product. At the moment this is probably not forbidden. “
Delta 8 is less effective than marijuana, but it can be sold to minors in CBD products. And because it comes from hemp, which is treated as an agricultural product and regulated by the Oregon Department of Agriculture, it is subject to minimal regulations.
Rep. Wilde, D-Eugene, and Rep. Lily Morgan, R-Grants Pass, are pushing legislation to study man-made cannabis compounds and regulate them more like conventional marijuana under the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.
“The idea is not to put people out of business,” says Morgan. “The idea is to encourage people to follow the lawful path that the relevant regulations apply to. And that intoxicants don’t get to children and that we don’t undermine those who are getting the process right with people who bypass the legal methodology. “
The testimony of the Committee of Cannabis Growers has been largely critical of the legislation. They fear this will lead to tougher regulations for the hemp industry.
There is little historical information about the consumption of Delta 8 compounds, according to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Because of their small differences from other CBD products, it is difficult for consumers to know what they are buying.
“If you want to grow hemp for food or fiber, that’s fine. This is what the ODA licensing process is designed for, ”says Wilde. “If you want to grow things for intoxicating chemicals and process things into intoxicating chemicals, this is an OLCC process.”