Portland, OR — At its regular monthly meeting on June 18, 2020, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission moved to extend the ability of licensed marijuana retailers to continue curbside delivery, and took the first step towards adopting rules that would ban non-cannabis additives from inhalable cannabis products. Commissioners also approved six marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic the OLCC, in order to promote social distancing required under the Governor’s Executive Orders, approved a temporary rule allowing licensed marijuana retailers to make “curbside delivery” within the immediate vicinity of their licensed (premises) retail store. That temporary rule expires in September 2020 and cannot be extended with another temporary rule.
Because the duration of the pandemic remains unknown, measures aimed at accommodating social distancing requirements and minimizing person-to-person contact remain critical to protecting public health. The proposed rule provides licensed marijuana retailers flexibility in how they can deliver to consumers at their licensed premises.
In the fall of 2019, a number of Oregonians suffered from the outbreak of vaping-associated lung injury (VALI) linked in part to inhalable cannabis products. As of March, 2020, Oregon had 23 reported cases of VALI, including two fatalities. VALI has been tentatively linked to additives combined with cannabis oil.
Commission staff are attempting to address consumer product safety concerns by prohibiting all processed non-cannabis additives from being added to inhalable cannabis products. Non-cannabis vaping additives are used in cannabis vaping products for a variety of purposes, including dilution, flavor, and effects. However, non-cannabis additives are not necessary to make a vape product work with vaping technology.
Although the additives may be generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for ingestion, the same cannot be said for their inhalation. There is no regulatory body that evaluates the safety of these ingredients when inhaled, and additive makers do not disclose all of their ingredients due to trade secret concerns.