WA House COG - Committee Meeting
(January 8, 2018) - HB 2334 - Public Hearing


In its initial public hearing, legislation to set requirements for CBD additives from outside the 502 system received mostly negative comments from those concerned it could hurt farmers and patients.

Here are some observations from the Monday January 8th, 2018 Washington State House Commerce and Gaming Committee (WA House COG) Committee Meeting.

My top 3 takeaways:

  • HB 2334 (“Regulating the use of cannabinoid additives in marijuana products”) received a public hearing on the first day of the short 2018 legislative session.
    • The bill was prefiled by WA House COG Chair David Sawyer in December 2017 and had been assigned to the committee he led earlier that morning.
    • WA House COG Counsel Thamas Osborn told members that cannabinoids “encompass a wide variety of organic compounds derived from the cannabis plant” and that cannabidiol (CBD) was “believed to have potential health benefits, it is the active ingredient in most medical marijuana products.” He said that “in its purest form CBD does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, which is the cannabis-derived psychoactive compound that causes euphoric effects” (audio - 4m, video).
      • Though “properly purified” CBD isolate would still contain THC, “the percentage of THC is generally small. It does not reach levels typically found in regulated recreational marijuana products,” said Osborn. He emphasized that under state law, substances with less than 0.3% THC were “not considered to be controlled substances.”
      • Osborn commented that CBD had been “used as an additive by licensed marijuana processors in order to enhance the CBD content of medical marijuana products.” He said that while many processors had “the technical ability to produce CBD concentrates, it is common for such processors to purchase them from sources operating outside the marijuana market regulated” by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) and the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). Osborn alleged that the majority of CBD used by processors came “from hemp and are imported from foreign countries engaged in hemp production” entering the United States “in the form of hemp oil.” CBD from Initiative-502 cannabis was already used by licensees to increase the cannabinoid content “of their medicinal products,” he added, “but my understanding is that’s generally not how it’s derived.”
      • Whether CBD was imported or sourced domestically from outside the 502 market, it wasn’t required to be tested “for toxins and other impurities” and Osborn claimed that medical cannabis items with “imported CBD additives may contain toxic substances that are undetected.”
        • In order to be labeled and sold as a compliant medical product, cannabis flower or trim was required to be tested for heavy metals “at the time of harvest or when placed into lots,” while for “products intended for retail sale as concentrates, extracts, or for use as an intermediate product, screening is required only after extraction.” At the time, section (1)(iii) also stated that an “imported cannabinoid must be screened prior to addition to any marijuana product.”
      • Osborn then briefed the committee using the House Bill Analysis, which described the general provisions of the original bill:
        • “Authorizes licensed marijuana producers and processors to use cannabidiol products (CBD products) obtained from sources other than state licensed producer/processors, provided such products are laboratory tested, approved by the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB), and meet other specified requirements.
        • Requires that all CBD products used by licensed producers and processors meet legal standards for product safety and purity.
        • Creates a definition of "CBD product" that Osborn commented was “any product containing or consisting of cannabidiol.”
        • Provides the LCB with rule making authority regarding the use of CBD products by licensed marijuana producers and processors.”
    • Sawyer introduced his proposal, saying “the general concern I’ve heard from industry and other folks [was] that when people move into our 502 system and attempt to buy products” that additives were “being pushed into” those items without required testing. Stating “we don’t test for metals...we don’t test for pesticides,” he predicted the bill would be further amended to “be a little bit more clear on putting it directly into our authority of LCB, the purpose of this bill is that when people go into our 502 system everything is tested and everybody can be assured that it's safe” (audio - 1m, video).
  • Six individuals testified against the legislation, faulting state regulators for prior hemp and cannabis rules, and voicing concern the bill would put CBD on the list of controlled substances. 

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