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Can marijuana edibles be regulated?

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By Owen Smith

Written for LiftMJ

Patients, caregivers, advocates and now licensed producers are pressuring for the regulation of cannabis extract products. Canada’s prohibition on cannabis based medicinal extracts was struck down in British Columbia in 2012 and is under increasing pressure nationally as seriously ill Canadians are in need of the cleanest most effective form of cannabis medicine. For those who find that synthetic THC pills, inhalation or chewing and digesting the raw plant matter doesn’t work, then the MMPR has failed.

Former Olympic gold medal snowboarder Ross Rebagliati and partner Patrick Smyth seek to start a medical cannabis distribution system across Canada and foresee opportunities to improve on marijuana products, if Health Canada can be convinced. “Right now it’s dried cannabis that the federal government is prepared to provide to patients and what we’d like to see is an amendment to that as soon as possible to see extracts and edibles” (VIDEO)

In an ongoing attempt to fill the gaps in the MMPR, medical dispensaries provide products for the diverse needs of their membership—from tinctures and pills to drinks, incense and essential oils. The efforts of Colorado based companies Dixie Elixers and Canna Cola to rigorously test for quality control and standardized doses of THC are breaking new ground with the intention of providing to dispensaries across the United States. Among other products they currently make 12oz. fizzy fruit drinks containing about 22-35 mg of THC at the cost of $10 a pop.

With great variation in plant material it’s difficult to produce a standardized medical cannabis product. Genovations Creations in Colorado Springs use a forced ventilation oven (maintaining 35˚ temperature to evaporate any moisture); a Vortexer to stir the cannabinoids in the solvent; and a Sonicator that breaks open the trichomes in the test tube by vibrating sound waves through the water the test tube is submerged in. (VIDEO) This ensures the material is evenly dispersed before testing with a HPLC to standardize and quantify doses. They currently produce interesting new products for the skin combining hash oil and essential oils into bubble bath and shower gel.

Medical Marijuana Delivery Systems, based in Europe, has acquired patent rights for a topical medical marijuana patch. Similar to a nicotine patch, it is applied to the skin, releasing cannabinoids into the intercellular lipid layer surrounding the cells of the outer level of the skin, rather than through the cells themselves. It’s being sold worldwide as “a holistic, therapeutic adjunctive for management of chronic pain […] and other chronic conditions.” Working with a member of the Santa Ana Pueblo Tribe of New Mexico, MMDS plans to market “other new delivery systems like creams, gels and oils to people and animals in need.” (Source)

As of July of this year, Washington State permits individuals over the age of 21 to possess up to one ounce of usable dried cannabis, 16 ounces of cannabis infused product in solid form; and 72 ounces (a 6 pack) of cannabis infused product in liquid form. These seminal experiments in the regulation of edible cannabis may forge the way to a more effective, diverse and affordable medicinal cannabis product selection.

 

By Owen Smith

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