Under the first draft of Senate Bill 1531 rules, the Oregon Health Authority effectively prohibits licensed state facilities from providing any sweet medicated edibles to patients. This initial rule seems to incorporate a flawed interpretation of SB 1531, as all of the debate surrounding the need to regulate medicated items during the legislative process always revolved around the marketing of items towards children, just as Joe Camel is no longer an acceptable marketing tool for Big Tobacco and just as Colorado and other jurisdictions have mandated. However, never has any medical cannabis dispensary state banned all sweet cannabis-infused edibles and this is interpretation of SB 1531 is simply too broad and will harm too many patients.
Even before the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act was passed, there have been unregulated, unlicensed medical cannabis dispensaries operating in Oregon. Despite a lack of regulations, there has not been an epidemic of children consuming medical cannabis. Just as any other medicine, responsible parents understand the need to keep medical cannabis products away from children. By outlawing anything that may be attractive to minors, this rule is too broad and could eventually be interpreted to ban just about every medicated food product. Under this broad ban, glycerin tincture, even though it is relatively non-psychoactive, could be banned as well since its sweet taste could be deemed too attractive to children. Too many patients rely upon medicated edibles and this rule will only push patients onto the underground market, surely against the intention of our medical marijuana facilities law.
The Oregonian's Noelle Crombie reports:
Oregon's draft rules state that a dispensary may not transfer to patients marijuana-infused products "manufactured in a form that resembles cake-like products, cookies, candy, or gum, or that otherwise may be attractive to minors because of its shape, color, or taste."
The rules, drafted by Oregon Health Authority Officials, will go into place next week, said Karynn Fish, a spokeswoman for the agency. Dispensaries, at that point, won't be allow to legally dispense marijuana-infused items such as cookies and candies. She said the agency is accepting public comment on the draft rules. Email comments to email@example.com.
The rules require child-proof and opaque packaging so the product isn't visible from the outside. If the product isn't meant to be consumed in a single serving, the package must be closable. The packaging also may not feature cartoons "or images other than the logo of the facility, unless the logo of the facility depicts the product or cartoons, in which case only the name of the facility is permitted."
(Bold added for emphasis)
This ban of sweet edibles will only harm patients who choose not to smoke cannabis or cannot due to health concerns. A lung cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy should not be forced to eat a medicated pot pie or meatloaf when a sweet lozenge would be much more effective considering the patient's extreme nausea. Please send emails today to: firstname.lastname@example.org and let the OHA know that sensible packaging and marketing restrictions will suffice. There is no need to harm patients by denying them effective medicine choices due to unfounded fears.