Washington Cannabis: LCB bans the conversion of CBD to Delta-9 THC

On July 22, the Washington State Liquor and Marijuana Board (“LCB”) issued an explanatory statement (“Notice”), in which the agency clarified the authorization practices of cannabis processors. The notice stipulates that licensed cannabis processors cannot legally convert cannabidiol (“CBD”) to delta-9 THC because of their The licensing privilege does not allow them to produce THC.

Specifically, LCB explained:

  1. Licensed cannabis producers can produce “marijuana” products with a THC concentration of more than 0.3% dry weight, and the law is authorized to purchase “marijuana” only from licensed “marijuana” producers;
  2. The legal language does not authorize licensed processors to purchase cannabis-based products, such as legally derived CBD, and convert them to delta-9 THC;
  3. The conversion process is not an established privilege that grants a license to a cannabis processor; and
  4. RCW 69.50.326 Enable licensed processors to purchase CBD products from inside or outside the regulatory system to increase the CBD concentration of hemp and hemp products. However, it does not resolve or definitively authorize the use of other isomers or derivatives of cannabis as additives to cannabis and cannabis products, nor does it authorize licensed processors to process other isomers or derivatives of cannabis.

For all these reasons, the LCB concluded that engaging in such manufacturing activities “may be considered a violation of the Controlled Substances Act, as well as an abuse of the processor’s license”. The notice reflects LCB’s ongoing efforts to assess whether certain additives, solvents, ingredients and compounds (except delta-9 THC) used in the production and processing of cannabis products pose a risk to public health or youth exposure.

On April 28, 2021, LCB released Policy Statement PS21-01, Titled Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compounds other than delta-9 and the conversion of CBD, hemp, or both into delta-8 THC, delta-9 THC, or any other “cannabis” compounds, which are not currently in the revised Identify or define Washington (RCW), Washington Administrative Code (WAC), or both in the codeAs its title indicates, CR-101 is expressed in terms of assessing possible rulemaking related to additives “other than delta-9” (“CR-101”).

After submitting CR-101, LCB convened a panel of experts and many stakeholders to discuss cannabis phytochemistry and related topics, and obtained information from various licensees, stakeholders and other state regulatory agencies on the use of cannabis to create More information about the process comes from CBD and THC comes from hemp or other sources.These conversations brought to the surface new questions about the conversion process because it was related to delta-9 THC and led to the drafting of a revised version of CR-101, removing the “except for delta-9 THC” restriction, which is Officially recognized July 7th and as WSR 21-14-117.

According to recent reports Weishang Daily, Cannabis growers have been actively seeking clarification from LCB on this issue because they fear that this practice will undermine their own activities. For several months, hemp growers in Washington State have not been able to sell the biomass they use for extraction, because licensed processors have always preferred hemp-derived CBD, and the cost of converting hemp into delta-9 THC is much lower .

As the name suggests, this notice is not a law, which means that it is not clear how/whether LCB will initiate enforcement actions. Nevertheless, this recent change in LCB’s position may affect the existing activities of licensed companies. The liability insurance of these companies does not cover illegal products. If anyone who consumes THC products from the CBD becomes ill, they may now be more vulnerable to legal proceedings. .

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