Washington: Clarifying Statement Regarding LCB Rulemaking Authority re THC Isomers other than Delta-9

More Delta 8 clarification from Washington state

Issue

Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive compound naturally occurring in very low levels in cannabis. With the recent federal legalization of hemp, delta-8 and other THC compounds other than state regulated delta-9, can be chemically derived from CBD that was originally generated from hemp.

Delta-8 derived from hemp has emerged for sale nationwide, including small amounts within the regulated Washington State supply chain, as well as in unregulated convenience stores and commercial internet websites. It is an emerging issue nationwide with concerns surrounding it that include: youth access, health effects resulting from the extraction process, and the impact of a product that is generally unregulated competing with a tightly regulated state cannabis marketplace.

Research

In recent months, the LCB has been researching delta-8 through multiple channels. Discussions are ongoing with state public health officials, cannabis industry representatives and other state regulators through the national trade organization the Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA). Most states are currently fact finding and communicating with Washington and other states. Some have moved quickly to prohibit delta-8 through rule or legislation.

 

Reason for Policy Statement

On April 28, 2021, LCB issued Policy Statement Number PS-21-01 regarding: The regulation of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), other than Delta-9; and the conversion of CBD, hemp, or both to delta- 8 THC, delta-9 THC, or any other cannabis compound that is not currently identified or defined in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), or both. The LCB’s policy statement is in response to multiple stakeholder requests and national concerns for clarification.

Through PS-21-01, the LCB is notifying the public and stakeholders that the agency will be addressing the issue. State law encourages agencies to advise the public of its current opinions, approaches, and likely courses of action by means of interpretive or policy statements. Current interpretive and policy statements are advisory only. To better inform the public, agencies are encouraged to also convert long-standing interpretive and policy statements into rules.

LCB Intent

The LCB’s intent is to open public discussion around this issue. While the Board has broad rulemaking authority to act quickly when the public health, safety or welfare is at risk, the Board’s intention is to approach the issue conservatively and transparently, collecting input and actively collaborating with stakeholders. Until the LCB has reached a conclusion through the public rulemaking process whether to adopt rules to create enforceable requirements regarding products that contain delta-8, this policy statement is advisory. The LCB will continue to enforce existing rules pertaining to packaging and labeling reviews to ensure there is not an excess of 10 mg of any type of THC in edible products.

The policy statement represents the Board’s continued effort to make the public and stakeholders aware of our intentions and invite participation. The Board will soon approve a CR 101 to make the process public and begin standard rulemaking. As always, interested parties may sign up for email notifications or check the LCB website at lcb.wa.gov for updates.

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