Senate Bill 1511, authorizing recreational pot shops to sell consumable goods and extracts to customers, has been signed by Governor Kate Brown. The law will allow recreational users to buy one serving of an edible and one cartridge of vaporizer extract per day.
Due to the Oregon Health Authority’s jurisdiction over the legal weed business in Oregon, pot users without medical cards looking to eat edibles or to purchase extracts to use in their vaporizers will have to wait at least another month or two before being able to buy either product.
Over the next several weeks, rules for these sales, specifically regarding how much THC the edibles and extracts should contain, will be established. The biggest issue the OHA plans to address lies in the ongoing debate surrounding dosage levels.
Though authorities claim the agency is concerned with kids accidentally ingesting high-dose edibles, only a small number of children were reported to the Oregon Poison Control Center last year for ingesting marijuana. According to Poison Control Center statistics collected by Oregon Health & Science University and released in a recent report by The Oregonian, the call line does not track information about whether the pot these children consumed was through eating or smoking. Additionally, careful packaging and product design by manufacturers is intended to appeal only to adults, so instances of child consumption traced to Oregon dispensaries are rare.
A more relevant reason for the THC dosage control could be found in the risk of new or first-time users being unaware of how much THC they are ingesting when consuming edibles or extracts, and how said cannabinoids could affect them. Local medical dispensaries, which offer both products in varying doses, have collected plenty of information related to the ways that different doses affect users, so shared experience may be the best support for the OHA to set its guidelines.
Recreational smokers interested in the consumption of edibles should know that when psychoactive snacks are ingested, THC is metabolized in the liver and rapidly passes the blood-brain barrier, creating a longer-lasting, more psychedelic high. While the effects of smoking marijuana quickly wear off, THC can remain in the bloodstream anywhere from 6 to 10 hours after being ingested. As of now, the OHA recommends a dosage of 3 to 5 milligrams per consumer.
A precise sale date for edibles and extracts at recreational pot shops has not been set. Once they are notified of the proper dosages, edible manufacturers will begin to retool their products to suit the state’s dispensary rules. For now, recreational users may still only purchase flowers, seeds, and plants.
By Kiki Genoa