In the Weed: DC Allows Adults to Self-Prescribe Medical Marijuana, NY Warnings, Oregon Bans Delta-8 THC Products | McGuireWoods LLP

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Interesting Highlights

DC passes emergency bill allowing adults to self-prescribe medical marijuana. Recently, DC council members voted unanimously to pass, and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser signed an emergency bill allowing adults 21 and older to self-prescribe. medical marijuana and obtain a medical marijuana card whether or not there is a medical recommendation. The law also expedites the process of obtaining a one-day medical marijuana card if an adult visits the Liquor Regulation Administration to register.

Previously, adult DC residents could consume, possess, and gift marijuana in accordance with Initiative 71, which passed in November 2014. However, the following year, legislation was passed that prevented DC from regulating adult marijuana use in the retail industry. Harris Rider, as the legislation is commonly known, blocked DC’s ability to tax and regulate the commercial use of marijuana by adults. As a result, marijuana donations skyrocketed in the district, with businesses charging for memberships, merchandise, and other items in exchange for “free” marijuana, which was neither taxed nor regulated.

Emergency medical marijuana self-certification law, effective immediately, allows adults access to any of DC seven medical marijuana dispensaries buy marijuana legally. The law created a workaround for the failure of elected district officials to regulate and tax adult marijuana use in their respective jurisdictions. Although a previous action was proposed to overthrow Harris Rider, the legislation never passed. The Alcoholic Beverage Regulatory Administration said it will waive all medical marijuana card registration fees through August 18, 2022.

The New York State Office of Cannabis Management warns businesses that offer and barter cannabis and owners. In its ongoing enforcement efforts, last week the New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), the agency charged with regulating cannabis sales, released cease and desist letters to 52 New York businesses for the sale, donation or barter of cannabis. OCM noted in the letters that “[t]There is currently no license available from the Office of Cannabis Management or other approvals available from any other New York State agency that permits the legal sale of cannabis. The CMO has threatened fines, criminal penalties and permanent bans from receiving a New York State license if companies fail to comply. The letters also state that landlords who host any illegal activity on the premises are compromising the ability to continue to host a licensed dispensary or consumer lounge on the premises in the future. Some have criticized New York for delays in issuing cannabis licenses to businesses. The Cannabis Control Board announced in March 2022 that the first round of licenses would go to people previously affected by marijuana-related lawsuits.

A Canadian pharmaceutical company begins a clinical trial on psilocybin. Filament Health Corp., a Canadian pharmaceutical company, announcement that it has started a phase 1 clinical study for its experimental psilocybin drugs. This is a first for mushroom-derived psilocybin and not for lab-created synthetic analogues. The study will examine the best route of administration for psilocybin and psilocin-based drug candidates. The main objective of the study is to compare the effects of the pill form of psilocin to the sublingual form. The study was designed to include subjects who had previous experience with psychedelics and will engage in supervised sessions to analyze the effects of the drug in three rounds for each subject. The trial is small with only 20 participants enrolled. More information about the study can be found at ClinicalTrials.gov.

DEA Hearing to assess the programming of certain psychedelics as controlled substances. On July 6, 2022, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration published notice of an August 22, 2022 hearing to further assess information and expert opinion regarding the DEA’s January 2022 proposal to classify five tryptamines (hallucinogens) as controlled substances, including their salts, isomers and salts of isomers in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. These include 5-Meo-Mipt, DIPT, 4-Ho-DIPT, 5-MEO-AMT and 5-MeO-DET. According to the notice, the DEA received more than 500 comments, largely from the general public, and multiple hearing requests to present factual information and expert opinion. DEA support documents can be viewed on Regulations.gov. The hearing will take place at the DEA Hearing Facility in Arlington, Virginia. Anyone interested in participating must provide notice of desired participation no later than August 5, 2022.

Virginia agencies warn against enforcement against Delta-8 products. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and the Virginia Attorney General’s Office recently released a Press release indicating an intention to increase enforcement against food and drink products containing chemically synthesized cannabinoids. According to the announcement, prior to intensifying enforcement efforts, VDACS will distribute a communication to Virginia food manufacturers, food retail establishments, and registered industrial hemp processors outlining the law’s requirements for Virginia on Foods and Beverages and specifically that any chemically synthesized cannabinoid including delta-8 THC as a food or drink is in violation of the law. The announcement states that the VDACS will encourage voluntary compliance; however, if such compliance is not achieved, VDACS will use enforcement tools, with the highest penalty allowed by Virginia law, which is a class 1 misdemeanor.

Basic Federal/State Legislative Highlights

New Jersey eliminates taxes on medical cannabis. On July 1, 2022, a provision of New Jersey’s Jake Honig Compassionate Use of Cannabis for Medical Purposes Act (Jake’s Law) which eliminates local sales taxes on the sale of medical cannabis has come into effect. While Jake’s Law was signed into law on July 2, 2019, the wording of the law included a sunset provision for local sales tax imposed under the law. Tax rates for medical marijuana sales started at 4% and decreased each year since 2020 until the tax rate was zero in July. Taxes from the sale of medical cannabis have been earmarked for mental health and addiction treatment programs. Notably, taxes on cannabis for adult use are unaffected by Jake’s Law. The sales tax reduction aligns New Jersey with several other states that do not impose taxes on the sale of medical cannabis.

Minnesota bill legalizes certain THC edibles. A new law entered into force on July 1, 2022, allows anyone over the age of 21 to purchase edibles or beverages containing up to 5 milligrams of hemp-derived THC per serving (up to 50 milligrams per package). The regulations essentially authorize the placing on the market of edibles containing hemp-derived THC. THC derived from cannabis plants containing more than 0.3% delta-9 THC remains illegal. Marijuana and hemp come from the same cannabis plant, although with subtle differences – marijuana plants are high in THC and hemp plants are very low in THC. However, hemp-derived THC is chemically the same. It seems that several Republican lawmakers who oppose the legalization of marijuana were unaware of this, and may have unwittingly voted for the new law, which has the practical effect of legalizing THC edibles. Importantly, the new law imposes additional restrictions on vaporized delta-8 by specifying that the 0.3% limit on THC content now includes “any tetrahydrocannabinol” (including highly concentrated delta-8 products). ).

Oregon bans all Delta-8 THC products. Oregon has banned all delta-8 THC products in a new regulation which went into effect July 1, 2022. The ban orders the removal of these synthetic cannabinoids, including THC-O (known as THC acetate) and non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBN, from all points of sale.

Delta-8 occurs naturally in cannabis and is usually synthesized from CBD, which is extracted from hemp plants. Delta-8 can be used like regular CBD products in the form of cookies, gummies, candies, vape liquids, and drinks. The Oregon Alcohol and Cannabis Commission says delta-8 synthesis is the reason for the ban due to the lack of testing protocols surrounding delta-8 products and the chemicals used in their production. Unlike delta-9 THC, which is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, delta-8 has not been evaluated by the FDA, and the FDA has reported several adverse events in patients who consumed delta-8 products. 8 in recent years.

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