• Alexander Bencore

Oregon's CBN Candy Conundrum

This is the third story I wrote up for today’s State of Cannabis News Hour show, which is a long story in itself. Number three of three is from Willamette Week:

"Soon to Be Banished From Grocery Shelves, Makers of Some Hemp-Infused Candies are Threatening to Leave Oregon"


"Last year, Christine Smith (no relation) put her new candy on the shelves of New Seasons Markets. Snooze Fruit Chews promised restful sleep.


"In the past 18 months, the candies have become a “tentpole of her Portland business, Grön Chocolate,which grosses $14 Million a year from chocolate bars and fruit chews infused with compounds from marijuana and hemp plants.” Snooze Fruit Chews on grocery shelves make up one-third of Grön’s $3 million in annual sales outside of dispensaries.


"But Snooze, which is infused with compounds from hemp, not marijuana, doesn’t contain only CBD, or cannabidiol. Its main draw is that it also contains CBN, or cannabinol. The article says “CBN became a popular ingredient in edibles only two years ago, when several companies created new production methods for processing it from hemp, through a machine that prematurely ages CBD.


Oregon’s state cannabis regulators now say CBN is therefore defined as an “artificial ingredient.


THE DEEP DIVE

Oregon is removing CBN products from grocery stores starting July 1, limiting future sales to dispensaries only. It’s the only state in the country that has raised a red flag about CBN (and guess what’s also on their list? Delta 8.)


Edible makers say because CBN doesn’t get anyone high, the commission should leave CBN alone. “It’s worrisome to see the OLCC is using its new authority to arbitrarily ban things,” says Parton Lee of Wyld.


But state regulators argue that any chemistry experiments on hemp need government supervision. “Whether it’s intoxicating or not, that’s kind of a secondary concern,” says Steven Crowley, the OLCC’s hemp specialist. “The primary concern is whether it’s manufactured in a way that’s safe to consume.”


The state says "It’s not the standard of any other food or dietary supplement ingredient to sell something for 18 months, and if it’s OK, keep selling it … The whole premise is that we don’t experiment on humans when we sell things."


THE LOOP BACK

"The two biggest CBN edible makers in the state, Grön and Wyld CBD, are threatening to leave Oregon over the ban, which is the cannabis version of “It’s my ball and I’m taking it home.” The state thinks they’re bluffing…


... and besides, if they are already selling inside dispensaries and are licensed to do so, as Bugs Bunny used to say, What’s the hubbub, Bub?


IMAGE SOURCE: https://www.wweek.com/news/2022/01/12/soon-to-be-banished-from-grocery-shelves-makers-of-some-hemp-infused-candies-are-threatening-to-leave-oregon/