Oregon’s trusted resource for approved OMMP dispensaries!

Marijuana News

OMMP Dispensaries offers the latest marijuana news from around the globe.

Oregon’s recreational marijuana market expands to edibles and extracts starting Thursday

Oregon’s recreational marijuana market expands to edibles and extracts starting Thursday


From dawn until midnight, Andi Bixel churns out ice cream. She’s made so much ice cream that the machine has started to act up. She bought another this week so she can keep going without a break.

You won’t find Bixel’s treats, made with local ingredients like lavender and honey, in Portland’s famous ice cream parlors or trendy grocery stores. Her cold confections are infused with marijuana.

Bixel’s startup, Drip Ice Cream, is one of dozens jockeying for shelf space and new consumers as Oregon continues the gradual rollout of its recreational marijuana program.

Starting Thursday, anyone 21 and older can buy marijuana-infused edibles and extracts at medical marijuana dispensaries selling to the recreational market. It’s the latest milestone in Oregon’s effort to create a regulated marketplace for one of the state’s most popular commodities.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is in the process of licensing producers and expects to green-light stand-alone recreational shops later this year. Until then, medical marijuana dispensaries can sell a limited amount of marijuana flowers, seed and plants – and now marijuana-infused edibles, extracts and non-psychoactive topical products, like balms and lotions – to the general public.

The rules around the potency of edibles are complicated. The state intends to cap individual edible products at 5 milligrams of THC apiece — half of what’s allowed in Colorado and Washington. A package of marijuana-infused edibles, say a chocolate bar or cookies, may contain no more than 50 milligrams total.

But those rules don’t apply to this early sales program. Stores can sell edibles with up to 15 milligrams of THC – triple the serving-size limit that will come this fall.

The Oregon Health Authority, which oversees medical marijuana dispensaries, reminded the public to keep marijuana products away from children and warned that pot can make kids sick.

And it’s not just kids that the health authority worries about. Public health officials this week reminded adults to take it easy when eating edibles. People should start with less than 15 milligrams and “wait at least 90 minutes and up to four hours before having more,” the agency said in a statement this week.

While eager to expand their brands beyond the medical market — which some dispensary owners say has sharply declined since recreational sales began last year – edible makers worry consumers new to their products will eat too much and end up with a lousy experience that’s marked by paranoia, anxiety and other miserable symptoms related to over-ingesting marijuana.

(See related: Oregon marijuana edibles makers launch public campaign: ‘Try 5’)

“They say, drink responsibly,” said William Simpson, CEO of Chalice Farms, a Portland-based marijuana grower, processor and retailer. “Eat responsibly – that should be the slogan for edibles. Start slow and take your time. Eat a little and wait a long time.”

His message is similar for people interested in consuming extracts.

“The first sip of alcohol you took, nobody told you to plug half the bottle,” he said. “Use sparingly, see what effect you get and go from there.”

Budtenders at Simpson’s four stores plan to hand out informational cards about edibles with every purchase. His company’s commercial kitchen near Portland International Airport is turning out 500 packages of truffles, chocolates and gummy candies a day.

He hopes to open each of his stores Thursday with about 1,200 packages of edibles on the shelves.

He expects a rush as curious customers flock to dispensaries to try out products that have been off-limits until now. Oregonians who have been traveling to border stores in Washington are likely to now shop closer to home, he said.

“The increase in sales could be very large,” he said. “All that business that was going across state lines will now stay in our own backyards.”

In Colorado and Washington, both home to regulated marijuana markets, edibles typically make up about 10 percent of marijuana sales, according to BDS Analytics, a Colorado-based firm that tracks cannabis sales and market data.

As for Bixel, it’s been tricky to prepare for the new market and the state’s rules around packaging and labeling.

The 25-year-old figures she’s worked 18-hour days for the past two weeks, hoping to produce 1,500 containers of ice cream that will be delivered to a dozen dispensaries by Thursday.

It’s not been a smooth road, she said. Adapting her packaging to evolving state rules is spendy. Lab testing, too, remains inconsistent. She recently had three samples tested by three labs only to get wildly different potency results. The state has only begun to license marijuana testing labs, which have been dogged by concerned about quality and consistency.

“Nobody is coming in to check to make sure things are what they say they are,” she said.

Still, Bixel, whose ice cream has been available on the medical marijuana market, said she’s excited by the prospect of a new customer base. Ice cream, she said, represents a novelty in a market crowded with marijuana brownies and candies. Each 4-ounce package contains 15 milligrams of THC.

Packages are marked with 5-milligram servings so consumers can gauge how much to eat. Her advice to consumers: Exercise willpower and don’t gobble the whole container in one sitting.

“We are really trying to educate as much as we can around the fact that less is more,” she said. “Edibles are more fun if you have less.”

— Noelle Crombie

ncrombie@oregonian.com

503-276-7184; @noellecrombie

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

Marijuana news


Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Recreational marijuana shoppers can buy marijuana edibles and extracts starting June 2

Recreational marijuana shoppers can buy marijuana edibles and extracts starting June 2

Oregon continues its early roll out of recreational marijuana sales next month by allowing people to buy pot-infused edibles and extracts.

Since October, anyone 21 and older can buy a limited amount of marijuana flowers, starter plants and seeds.

Starting June 2, marijuana-infused edibles, extracts and non-psychoactive topical products join the list. The  Legislature earlier this year approved the expanded sales.

The Oregon Health Authority this week issued a bulletin detailing what’s allowed:

Retail customers can buy one low-dose marijuana infused edible per day at medical marijuana dispensaries that sell to recreational customers. “Low dose” means an edible with no more than 15 milligrams of THC.

They also can buy:

— Non-psychoactive marijuana-based topical products, like lotions and balms, that contain no more than 6 percent of THC.

— One pre-filled catridge or container of marijuana extract per day. This type of product is typically consumed using a portable vaporizer device. The container may not contain more than 1,000 milligrams of THC.

Gov. Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 1511, the law allowing the expanded recreational sales, on March 29. 

A separate state law passed earlier this year removed the original 2-year residency requirement for recreational marijuana licensees. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will begin issuing licenses under this law starting June 2.

Agency officials said Wednesday that residency would no longer be a factor for people who own a marijuana company under proposed rules the commission will take up next month.

— Noelle Crombie

ncrombie@oregonian.com

503-276-7184; @noellecrombie

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

Marijuana news

Tags: , , , , , ,
Oregon has collected $6.84 million in recreational pot taxes since January

Oregon has collected $6.84 million in recreational pot taxes since January

Oregon dispensaries have something to celebrate on this stoner holiday: They’ve sold an estimated $ 27 million worth of recreational marijuana since the start of the year.

The Oregon Department of Revenue on Wednesday said it collected $ 6.84 million in taxes from sales of recreational pot in January and February. The figure doesn’t include medical marijuana sales, which remain untaxed.

The state says about 320 medical marijuana dispensaries were selling recreational pot in Feburary.

The state announced last month that it had collected $ 3.48 million in taxes from the first month of sales. Since then, it has collected another $ 3.38 million.

Tax collections so far have blown out economists’ predictions for the first year of taxed pot sales. Those estimates ranged from $ 2 million to $ 3 million after the state paid for the costs of regulation. 

Oregon’s medical marijuana stores have been allowed to sell a limited amount of cannabis flowers, as well as starter marijuana plants and seeds, to anyone 21 and older since last October.

The Oregon Legislature this year expanded the types of products that can be sold to recreational customers, but the state has not drafted rules for those expanded sales.

The state’s temporary 25 percent tax on recreational pot kicked in Jan. 1.

That tax will eventually be replaced with one ranging from 17 percent to 20 percent once the Oregon Liquor Control Commission assumes control over recreational marijuana sales later this year.

The Legislature set the base tax rate at 17 percent, but cities and counties may adopt ordinances that add up to 3 percentage points more.

Next year, the first full year of sales under the liquor commission, state economists expect recreational cannabis sales to generate $ 10.75 million in tax revenue after the state covers startup costs. That number is expected to climb to $ 62.42 million for the 2017-2019 biennium.

Wednesday’s announcement comes on 4/20, widely viewed as an unofficial holiday for marijuana enthusiasts.

— Noelle Crombie

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

Marijuana news

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Bill making it easier for smaller medical marijuana growers to enter recreational market awaits Kate Brown’s signature

Bill making it easier for smaller medical marijuana growers to enter recreational market awaits Kate Brown’s signature

A bill that would make it easier for some smaller medical marijuana growers to enter the regulated recreational market is headed to the governor’s desk after clearing the Oregon House Wednesday.

Senate Bill 1598 passed in a 38-20 vote. The Oregon Senate approved the bill earlier this week.

SB 1598 would allow certain growers to apply for a state recreational marijuana license without having to first obtain a land-use compatibility statement.

Those statements are issued by local governments and confirm that a marijuana production site meets local zoning rules.

Under current law, all marijuana producers applying for an Oregon Liquor Control Commission license must get a land-use statement. The proposed legislation removes that requirement for small-scale marijuana growers located outside of city limits, provided they were registered with the Oregon Health Authority before Jan. 1, 2015.

The provision is intended to help bring smaller growers into the regulated recreational marijuana system through a so-called micro-canopy license, which would come with lower fees and fewer requirements.

“There are many competing interests in the cannabis world,” said Rep. Carl Wilson, R-Grants Pass. “This committee has worked tirelessly to balance those competing interests.”

Senate Bill 1598 also adds medical and research marijuana grows as recognized farm crops, making them easier to locate in exclusive farm use areas and protecting them from lawsuits filed by neighbors over perceived nuisances like odor and noise. Recreational marijuana grow sites are already recognized as farm crops under state law.

The proposed legislation also makes clear that local governments can impose “reasonable” time, place, and manner regulations on those marijuana operations. The bill also:

• Creates a sub-category of dispensaries for nonprofits. These establishments would be allowed to accept excess marijuana from growers and sell to patients for little or no cost.

• Requires the health authority to study medical marijuana access in areas underserved by dispensaries and retailers once the state’s regulated marijuana industry is off the ground.

Denis C. Theriault contributed to this report.

— Noelle Crombie

503-276-7184; @noellecrombie

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

Marijuana news.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Pot bill melding recreational, medical sales sent to Kate Brown’s desk

Pot bill melding recreational, medical sales sent to Kate Brown’s desk

A bill that would allow recreational marijuana stores to sell tax-free medical marijuana to patients heads to Gov. Kate Brown’s desk after being approved Friday by the Oregon House.

Senate Bill 1511 also would allow people 21 and older to buy marijuana-infused edibles and concentrates during the state’s so-called early sales program. The Oregon Senate on Tuesday voted for the bill along party lines.

The Legislature has taken up three key marijuana-related bills during its 35-day session.

SB 1511, approved 46-9, expands the products people 21 and older may purchase from dispensaries before the Oregon Liquor Control Commission assumes control of recreational sales later this year. For now, those sales are limited to flowers, seeds and young marijuana plants. The bill expands those options to include concentrates and edibles.

Another bill, Senate Bill 1598, passed out of committee earlier this week and is awaiting a Senate vote. That bill makes it easier for some small medical marijuana growers to enter the recreational system.

The proposed legislation also clarifies that home medical marijuana grows aren’t subject to inspection by the Oregon Health Authority and creates a sub-category of dispensaries for nonprofits. These establishments would be allowed to accept excess marijuana from growers and sell to patients for little or no cost.

— Noelle Crombie

503-276-7184; @noellecrombie

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

Marijuana news.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Oregon Senate signs off on bill allowing recreational pot shops sell to medical patients

Oregon Senate signs off on bill allowing recreational pot shops sell to medical patients

The Oregon Senate approved a bill Tuesday that would allow recreational marijuana stores to sell tax-free medical marijuana to patients.

Senate Bill 1511 also would allow people 21 and older to buy marijuana-infused edibles and concentrates during the state’s so-called early sales program.

The bill, which now heads to the House, is one of several key policy changes the  Legislature has made to the state’s medical and recreational marijuana programs during its 35-day session, which began earlier this month.

A bill that removes a two-year residency requirement for marijuana license holders passed the House and Senate and is awaiting the governor’s signature.

Tuesday’s vote was delayed by Senate Republicans who argued that the bill’s inclusion of an emergency clause coupled with a provision that regulates revenue violates the Oregon Constitution. They asked that the bill be referred back to the joint legislative committee overseeing marijuana legalization bills so the emergency clause — which would put the bill into effect immediately with the governor’s signature — could be removed.

“This is another symptom of this short session,” said Sen. Herman Baertschiger, R-Grants Pass. “We all feel pressure to just move on, no matter if we are in doubt or not.”

After conferring with Mark Mayer, deputy legislative counsel, about the legality of the bill’s language, Senate leaders moved ahead. The bill passed 18-10 along party lines.

Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, co-chair of the joint committee, said the bill, which gives recreational shops the go-ahead to sell to patients, strikes a balance between the needs of the emerging recreational market and sick people who rely on the drug to cope with their symptoms.

She highlighted a recent Oregon Health Authority survey of that showed a vast majority of dispensaries plan to pivot to the recreational market, a shift that has worried medical marijuana patients and advocates. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which oversees recreational marijuana regulation, is expected to launch sales later this year.

The bill also expands the products people 21 and older may purchase from dispensaries before the liquor commission assumes control of recreational sales. For now, those sales are limited to flower, seeds and young marijuana plants. SB 1511 expands those options to include concentrates and edibles.

The joint legislative committee on Tuesday also voted on a separate bill, Senate Bill 1598, which makes it easier for some medical marijuana growers to enter the regulated recreational market.

The bill would allow certain growers to apply for a state recreational marijuana license without having to first obtain a land-use compatibility statement. Those statements are issued by local governments and confirm that a marijuana production site meets local zoning rules.

Under current law, all marijuana producers applying for an Oregon Liquor Control Commission license must get a land-use statement.

The proposed legislation removes that requirement for small-scale marijuana growers located outside of city limits, provided they were registered with the Oregon Health Authority before Jan. 1, 2015.

The provision is intended to help bring smaller growers into the regulated recreational marijuana system through a so-called micro-canopy license, which would come with lower fees and fewer requirements.

Senate Bill 1598 also adds medical and research marijuana grows as recognized farm crops, making them easier to locate in exclusive farm use areas and protecting them from lawsuits filed by neighbors over perceived nuisances like odor and noise. 

Recreational marijuana grow sites are already recognized as farm crops under state law. The proposed legislation also makes clear that local governments can impose “reasonable” time, place, and manner regulations on those marijuana operations.

The bill also:

— Clarifies that home medical marijuana grows aren’t subject to inspection by the Oregon Health Authority.

— Creates a sub-category of dispensaries for nonprofits. These establishments would be allowed to accept excess marijuana from growers and sell to patients for little or no cost.

— Requires the health authority to study medical marijuana access in areas underserved by dispensaries and retailers once the state’s regulated marijuana industry is off the ground.

— Noelle Crombie

503-276-7184; @noellecrombie

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

Marijuana news.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Recreational marijuana sales outpace tax registrations

Recreational marijuana sales outpace tax registrations

EUGENE, Ore. — Nearly a fourth of Oregon’s medical marijuana dispensaries selling the drug recreationally are not registered to pay taxes on those sales.

The Register-Guard reports dispensaries have until Feb. 29 to pay a 25 percent sales tax on January recreational marijuana sales.

As of Thursday, 245 out of 320 dispensaries selling recreational pot had set up accounts with the state Department of Revenue.

Oregon Department of Revenue spokeswoman Joy Krawczyk says the department expects an upswing in registrations as the deadline nears.

Many medical marijuana dispensaries are temporarily selling the drug for recreational use. Licenses for those looking to sell recreational marijuana alone will not be issued until the fall.

Tax reminders were mailed to recreational marijuana dispensaries about a month ago.

— The Register-Guard

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

Marijuana news.

Tags: , , , ,
Medicinal? Recreational? Obama Kush is both (cannabis review)

Medicinal? Recreational? Obama Kush is both (cannabis review)

I’m addicted to stress.

From checking texts the moment I wake up to sending the final email of the night, I spend a good part of my days in Smartphone Hell.

If this sounds familiar, neither you or I bear the burden alone. We share this issue on a global scale. I often wonder how to navigate a meaningful life in today’s hyper-stimulated world.

Un-plugging is a crucial, albeit Herculean-seeming task. So today’s review is focused on one key for finding inner peace — Obama Kush, a cannabis strain that walks the line between medicine and recreation, provides me with a benefit everyone needs: stress relief.

Looks/Jar Appeal: In contrast to the black-purple I come to expect from an Obama Kush, I’m met here with nuggets more bluish violet in hue. The jar seems to spill at the brim with plump, healthy-sized buds, while a distinct otherworldly sweetness rushes to greet my nose. The familiar blends with the exotic, forming a dimensional smell which intoxicates long before I have taken my first hit. A velvety blanket of glistening resin accentuates the allure.

Taste: A powerful combo of two premium varieties, Obama brings the best of its Bubba Kush and Purps lineage. You can’t go wrong with parents like this.

I know, I know, before you bombard me with comments: “But Leafly says its Afghani and OG Kush.” Let me stop you there — Leafly doesn’t know everything. Believe it or not, the dark days of prohibition didn’t bring much clarity to our grasp of cannabis genealogy. I can understand the confusion. Instead of chewing my ear off about it, get on Instagram to ask @CSI_Humboldt and @Tigard_Farms for the real scoop.

Bubba is an old favorite of mine, and her funky sweetness is here to play. Like powdered sugar and black licorice from outer space, Obama Kush brings a sublime weirdness I can’t get enough of.

When smoked from my bong, anise and sugar melt into a caramelized mess of goop. A second, fainter taste — the alien one — flits wistfully around my palate. Like Nag Champa and grape soda had a baby: it’s fizzy, effervescent, with a grounded hippie-hash to boot. Thoroughly enjoyable.

From a joint, taste deepens to candied hop notes. Confectioners sugar meets over-ripe mango, and they continue down a damp forest path. My mouth produces a salivary response to this barrage of flavor, before the inevitable cottonmouth sets in. Oily humus lingers on my taste buds long after this joint is done.

When vaporized, the first hints of pine wash out under an onslaught of floral notes. Almost perfumey to start, this develops a crucial body I expect from herb bearing the regal name “Kush.” Like shoe leather and sumptuous grape candy, this final crescendo fades into a gentle lavender close.

Effects: I fill my bong with healthful nuggets broken into bite-sized bowls. Smooth smoke fills my lungs, expanding like a dying star. The old adage “if you don’t cough, you don’t get off,” comes to mind, as I power through these potent tokes. I manage to hold back any explosive coughing, purity in flavor is all I exhale. This herb is clearly grown with premium organic inputs and finished with thoughtful cure. As lung expansion draws my attention inward, the drug effects finish the one-two blow.

Ten-pound weights attach to my eyelids, causing a dramatic — if not comical — droop. Stresses which plague my mind slowly melt away, leaving a vacuum of mental space. Void of constant input, this could serve well as my herbal Spa Day. A float tank of flower. Sensory deprivation sensimilla. You get the jist.

From joints, a mellowing turns to very, very baked. As a seasoned smoker, I wasn’t put off by the intensity of my high – although Netflix was crucial for this spacey flight. After speaking to how relaxing this variety can be, I feel a need to stress: this will not be everyone’s experience.

Weighing in at an impressive 25% THC, this unusually potent Obama doesn’t lack in horsepower. For the unprepared, there’s potential here for things to get weird. One joint is the perfect way for me to unwind after a day of work. For some, this could be a massive overdose.

With a vaporizer, infrequent users are empowered to take doses which fit their needs. If your friends still insist you take giant bong tokes with them, despite your protests, news flash: your friends suck. Knowing your dose is key to a positive experience. If you are a light user seeking this relaxation, use a vaporizer to walk your effects up slowly.

When vaporized, I experience an airy floating sensation. Much less grounded than when smoked, this “Vape high” lightness is to be expected, but is highly pleasant. For my purposes it’s just light enough to socialize, just heavy enough to take the edge off.

Final thoughts: Medicinal and recreational cannabis are not absolutes, but points on a spectrum. I personally have a profound medicinal relationship with this plant, I also use it to get high and enjoy myself. These terms aren’t mutually exclusive. By boxing cannabis as one or the other, we commit a cardinal sin of our culture: oversimplifying everything. Sick people are allowed to enjoy getting high, and the healthiest among us will have experiences with illness and stress, sooner or later.

When we reduce our language to black-and-white, we deny the entire spectrum of experience to all people. It’s a disservice to all of us — life is confusing enough being sick or stressed without figuring out which box you fit in.

I encourage all people to dissolve these lines and observe the range of benefit cannabis has to offer. When you refine and tune your experience, the rewards may surprise you. With this Obama Kush, I found a lily pad of silence in a flood of noise. Magnificent work, absolutely recommended.

Wylie Atherton can be reached at Wratherton24@gmail.com and on Twitter at @wratherton

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

Marijuana news.

Tags: , , , , , ,
Wary Oregon wants weaker pot edibles for recreational users

Wary Oregon wants weaker pot edibles for recreational users

When it comes to marijuana-infused edibles, Oregon wants you to know that, like perfume, a little goes a long way.

Snacks and treats made with cannabis are not only tasty but potent. Oregon regulators have come up with rules that would make these products half as strong as what Colorado and Washington allow in part to protect novices, including those whose most recent experience with the drug dates to the Nixon administration.

Oregon and Alaska are part of a second generation of states with legal marijuana markets that see Colorado and Washington not as models but as a cautionary tales about the appeal and pitfalls of cannabis-infused drinks, sweets and foods. In Colorado, home to a robust edibles market, some rookie consumers had high-profile and, in at least one case, tragic experiences after consuming food made with cannabis. Overall, marijuana-related calls to poison centers increased after legalization in both states.

(See related: Legalizing marijuana: What Oregon can learn from Colorado about regulating edible pot)

So Oregon has proposed setting its sights lower, hoping weaker marijuana products would ultimately protect two groups: inexperienced consumers who eat too much too quickly only to feel sick and impaired, and preschoolers who end up high, disoriented and, in some cases, hospitalized after snacking on their parents’ pot-infused treats.

“We wrestled with this for quite a bit, trying to figure out what the right answer is,” said Michael Tynan, a policy officer with the Oregon Health Authority, speaking at a meeting of the agency’s rules advisory committee on marijuana earlier this month. “We are not an economic agency. We are the public health division. The Legislature gave us the responsibility to protect public health.

“That is the goal and the lens that my bosses and my colleagues are going to apply to this.” he said.

But advocates for the marijuana industry said Oregon’s proposal is an overreaction that threatens the livelihoods of chocolatiers, bakers, ice cream makers, drink producers and others who infuse their products with cannabis. Customers, they argue, aren’t going to be as interested in buying weaker treats or stocking up on chocolates to get high.

Keeping young kids from these products is a priority, say marijuana industry advocates, but limiting their potency does little to address that.

“I mean, a lot of this is really just proper parenting,” said John Bayes, a longtime grower and owner of Green Bodhi, a medical cannabis business in Eugene and Portland.

                                                          ***

Practically speaking, Oregon’s limits would work like this: A chocolate bar sold on the recreational market would be made up of 5 milligram servings, each marked on the bar itself so the consumer could easily identify a single portion. The whole bar could have no more than 50 milligrams of THC – enough for 10 servings.

Products where individual servings can’t easily be marked, say a drink or container of ice cream, would be limited to a total of two servings, or 10 milligrams.

The proposed limits are half of what’s allowed in Washington and Colorado, the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Both limit a single serving to 10 milligrams and whole packages to 100 milligrams.

The health authority would allow higher limits for products intended for the medical marijuana market, where patients in general tend to consume more cannabis and use more potent products. These products would be sold only to medical marijuana patients and their caregivers.

For states with legal marijuana markets, pot-infused edibles pose a challenge. There’s little science to suggest what constitutes a single serving, leaving regulators to guess at a starting point for consumers.

What’s more, cannabis-infused foods tend to have natural kid-appeal. They come in the form of tasty snacks and confections, like chocolates, jelly beans, candies and baked goods, and tend to look no different from ordinary treats.

Oregon, like Washington and Colorado, prohibits labeling that appeals to kids and requires that marijuana be sold in child-resistant containers. Packaging, for instance, can’t feature cartoons or super heroes. Oregon public health officials plan to require a “universal symbol,” a marijuana leaf next to an exclamation mark, to signal a product contains cannabis.

Advocates of lower serving sizes say those requirements are essential, but don’t go far enough to protect kids, who may look past warning labels and get into a container of cannabis-infused sweets.

“You are putting a recreational drug, a euphoric drug, into a form that is uniquely attractive to children,” said Dr. Robert Hendrickson, associate medical director of the Oregon Poison Center, which last year received 25 calls related to children under 6 consuming marijuana, up from 11 the previous year. (By comparison, the center received an estimated 1,800 calls in 2014 about young children getting into household cleaners, according to data provided by the agency.)

Though they look familiar, these products can pack a wallop.

Plus, they take longer to have an effect. An adult disappointed that a bite of chocolate fails to make them high may eat more – and maybe even more – instead of waiting a couple of hours. Eating too much too quickly, as some Colorado consumers learned early on, can be miserable.

The Rocky Mountain Poison Center received 84 calls from Colorado last year related to people of all ages consuming pot-infused edibles – representing roughly one-third of all marijuana calls to the agency last year, according to data the regional center provided to The Oregonian/OregonLive.

The number of calls the center received about young children ingesting marijuana-infused edibles spiked from 5 in 2013 to 22 last year.

At Children’s Hospital Colorado, 14 kids under 10 were treated for marijuana ingestion in 2014, the first year of regulated recreational marijuana sales. The number was an increase from previous years, hospital data shows. Data for 2015 is not yet available.

About half the children who come to the hospital for treatment of marijuana-related symptoms end up admitted for observation, said Dr. Sam Wang, a pediatric toxicologist and emergency medicine physician at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

In younger children, marijuana ingestion typically involves edibles, Wang said.

While adults are cautioned to take it easy with pot-infused edibles, young kids aren’t likely to show such restraint, said Wang.

“From a child’s standpoint,” he said, “if they have it and no one catches them, they aren’t going to stop with just one.”

                                                         ***

In Colorado, edibles’ popularity took state regulators by surprise. According to an analysis of Colorado data by Marijuana Policy Group, a Denver-based economic and policy consulting firm, edibles accounted for an estimated one-third of recreational marijuana sales last year.

A handful of high-profile experiences with edibles, including the case of a young man who ate a marijuana-infused cookie and later fell to his death off a Denver hotel balcony, prompted officials to establish new rules intended to ensure that products are marked and packaged so that consumers can easily identify a single serving.

Products that can’t be easily marked, such as granola, are limited to 10 milligrams.

“You need to be able to intuitively tell what the dose size is,” said Mike Van Dyke, branch chief for environmental epidemiology and toxicology at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “We had some issues around that early on in Colorado where you could have a product that contained a total of 100 milligrams and it was a cookie and the serving size was a 10th of that cookie. That was not very intuitive.”

Van Dyke called Oregon’s proposal to set the limit at 5 milligrams for a single serving and 50 for a package “a reasonable recommendation.”

“I think for a recreational market setting the limit at 5 (milligrams) is going to be helpful for those novice users, people who haven’t used before, which is presumably a good portion of the market,” he said.  

Even with Colorado’s official serving size of 10 milligrams, the advice to consumers from the state and from the marijuana industry itself is to start out even lower. Informational cards at Colorado marijuana shops advise consumers: “Start low. Go slow.”

Bad experiences with edibles like the one Maureen Dowd documented in a now-famous 2014 New York Times column were a factor in Alaska’s decision to open its recreational market this spring with lower serving sizes, said Jay Butler, the state’s chief medical officer.

“From the retailers’ perspective, they don’t really want potential new customers going ‘Maureen Dowd’ on them,” said Butler. “The more pleasant the experience, the better.”

                                                         ***

Though Washington’s serving sizes mirror Colorado’s, the state has taken a harder line on the types of products it allows.

Perishable treats such as ice cream and cooking staples such as butter are off limits. The state has proposed prohibiting foods that have to be baked or cooked at home, like pancake mixes or cookie dough.

The fear, said Kristi Weeks, policy counsel with the Washington Department of Health, is that consumers would “go home and make a 100 milligram pancake and have a bad experience.”

A three-person team at the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board screens each infused edible product before it’s allowed on the market, weeding out anything “especially” attractive to kids, said Weeks. Oregon does not limit the kinds of edible products that can be sold to recreational consumers, only how they are packaged and labeled.

Among the rejects in Washington: microwave popcorn, cotton candy, hot cocoa and a product called “pot ramen.”

“You have to laugh at that one because who eats Top Ramen?” Weeks said. “College kids. And they are 18, 19 and 20.”

Worries about kids getting into potent products drove Washington to also limit products intended for medical marijuana patients.

Starting in July, the state will allow medical marijuana patients who meet certain conditions to purchase what the Washington calls “high THC” products, such as skin patches, capsules, tinctures and suppositories.

Weeks said the limited line of potent products doesn’t include candies and other treats and instead resembles “more traditional forms of medicine that a child wouldn’t be likely to find and consume.”

“Most kids are taught that pills are medicine,” she said. “They look like medicine as opposed to a cookie.”

                                                      ***

In Oregon, state health officials expect to finalize rules for serving sizes by summer.

Meanwhile, makers of these products worry the proposed limits will turn off consumers looking for alternatives to smoking and dabbing the drug.

Some consumers will be happy with a couple of milligrams of THC, while others may want as much as 25 milligrams, said Daniel Stoops, whose Portland company Danodan Grassworks makes marijuana-infused caramels using organic ingredients.

“A mother of two who comes home to a couple kids and has to make dinner and wants to relax a little bit might need 25 milligrams,” he said. “That might be her jam.”

Under Oregon’s proposal, that mother would get two servings in a package, while someone content with 5 milligrams will get 10. If the state moves ahead with the proposal, Stoops said he’ll end up putting 10 5-milligram caramels in a package and selling them for between $ 15 and $ 30.

“It’s a real penalty,” he said, “to someone who has a higher tolerance and needs a few more milligrams.”

— Noelle Crombie

503-276-7184; @noellecrombie

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

Marijuana news.

Tags: , , , , , ,
Sour OG is a chill recreational strain — just have healthy snacks nearby (cannabis review)

Sour OG is a chill recreational strain — just have healthy snacks nearby (cannabis review)

Have you ever had one of those days when you think, “I love what I do?” Today is one of those days. Sitting before the computer on a gray day, I am surrounded by pipes and grinders and some really nice Sour OG flower. It has been a long time — too long — since I’ve smoked something from the sour family.

Sour strains are classic, distinct cannabis strains. You know when you are smoking a sour or one of its progeny. Its distinct sour scent and flavor let you know from the first whiff.

Sour OG is a great Sativa/Indica hybrid bred from Sour Diesel and SFV OG Kush. This flower is from Green Bodhi and I am impressed enough to go back and try more of their strains. They practice organic “Intentional Horticulture” and their intentions are clearly of the best variety.

Appearance, Scent, Flavor: This is a great specimen of Sour OG. And of flower in general. It is well trimmed — just bud, with minimal stem. The buds themselves are light green and sparkly with crystals. It is also well cured, but on the dry side, not sticky like Sour Diesel. Easy to light, with a good, clear, classic Sour OG flavor, it smokes smoothly, reducing to a nice, fluffy white ash, which means it was flushed thoroughly before harvest.

It smells. . . sour. Like I said, it’s a distinct cannabis scent. Just a smell of this flower will make the taste buds on the back of your tongue tingle. There’s a lemon verbena flavor, with more of a floral than a citrus sour. It reminded me of a horse pasture. As with horse pastures, the scent of “sour cannabis” can be an acquired taste. But once you acquire it, you may start to crave it.

Through a clean water pipe, my mouth was coated with the clean flavor of Lyson. I preferred the flavor through a traditional pipe. More complex, more verbena, less Lysol. The nice green flavor lasted through a couple of hits, which is always nice.

The Experience: I love sour strains on dark days. The bright flavor and scent always remind me of sun and warmth. Nice and toasty. This flower produced a euphoric and relaxing high. I remained mostly clear-headed and totally functional, and didn’t detect much of the usual dry mouth and eyes. The high lasted a nice long while and the stoney phase seemed to go on forever. This is a weed for nursing.
Unfortunately, it did make me want to eat everything in the house. I recommend filling your house with vegetables before enjoying this flower.

Lab results: 29.65% THC, 0.43% CBG , 0.02% CBD

Price: $ 15/gram

High in THC, the strain is good for pain and nausea. That said, strains that are really high in THC, over 25% like this, can actually cause nausea, so be careful. For medicating I generally prefer less potent THC strains, but this Sour OG is super fun. I have been looking to capture a more recreational feel since I’ve been using medicinally, and this does the trick. I felt like I was back in college, only with way better weed.

Alison Gary can be reached at AlisonGary.AG@gmail.com and on Twitter at @TheCBDiva

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

Marijuana news.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,