The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board received many questions regarding the legality of manufacturing THC from hemp-based CBD. Some cannabis businesses wanted to know the specifics when it comes to manufacturing different marijuana products such as flower and concentrates. This created a need to address the issue, with assessments and analysis of statutory provisions related to the process. Following the thorough analysis, the board announced on July 23 its interpretive statement.
The statement declares, “Processors licensed under RCW 69.50.363 may not legally convert CBD into delta-9 THC, as the license privileges do not allow them to manufacture THC.” It goes on further to say, “As many producing of a THC product falls outside the license privileges of a processor licensed by the LCB, the manufacturing activity may be considered a controlled substances act violation, and a misuse of the processors license.” The document concludes, “Additionally, licensed processors may not sell or purchase any THC product not legally produced by a licensed marijuana producer.”
The cannabis board also included the analysis in their statement reading, “Those issued licenses in accordance with chapter 69.50 RCW are afforded specific privileges to operate a ‘marijuana’ business legally within the state involving the Schedule 1 substance. There are two types of Cannabis plants, as identified in law. One being ‘Hemp’, as defined in RCW 15.140.020 as including derivatives from the cannabis plant with a delta-9 THC concentration of not more than 0.3 percent; and the other being “marijuana” which includes “all parts of the plant Cannabis, whether growing or not, with a THC concentration greater than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
The cannabis board summarized their statement saying, “Washington state statutes, which prescribe activities permitted by processors with respect to ‘marijuana’, do not allow processors to create their own delta-9 THC product.” Meaning manufacturers cannot create delta-9 because it’s technically not the same as cannabis and probably needs more research. Although they continue by saying, “Processors are not subject to criminal prosecution for ‘purchase and receipt of marijuana that has been properly packaged and labeled from a marijuana producer validly licensed.’ However, processors may be subject to administrative violations and/or criminal prosecution for engaging in activities not specified in statutory license privileges.”
While it’s unfortunate that delta-9 THC can’t be produced for our rolling papers and bongs, it’s also a glimpse into how meticulous lawmakers are about cannabis regulation.
It’s also great to see how marijuana regulations are affecting the status quo for cannabis cultivators and manufacturers, ensuring they’re adhering to all cannabis compliance rules.