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Alaska just upped how much THC is allowed in the state’s edibles.
Cannabis companies producing marijuana edibles in Alaska will be permitted to make more potent products starting next month under new rules that were approved by the state’s Marijuana Control Board earlier this summer. Under the amended regulations, cannabis edibles will be allowed to contain up to 10 milligrams of THC per serving beginning on September 1.
The change in Alaska also increases the total amount of THC that a marijuana edible can contain from 50 milligrams to 100 milligrams. The new regulations also contain requirements that marijuana edibles be lab tested for THC content, setting a variance of no more than 20 percent of a product’s labeled potency.
Although the new regulations double the permitted potency of cannabis edibles, Marijuana Control Board chair Nicholas Miller noted that the change is in line with most other states that have legalized recreational cannabis. Many states including California, Washington, Michigan, and Colorado allow up to 10 milligrams of THC per serving.
“I don’t consider this a substantive change,” Miller said during the board’s June meeting, when the regulation was changed.
Miller added that state regulators had originally set a conservative limit on cannabis edibles and was taking a “low and slow” approach to regulating the products.
“I think overall it’s been a success,” Miller said shortly before the board passed the regulation change by a vote of two-to-one in June.
Alaska Industry Welcomes New THC Limit
Shaun Tacke, one of the owners of Good Titrations, a cannabis manufacturing and retail business in Fairbanks, told local media that there “was definitely a demand for higher potency” in marijuana edibles, adding that five milligrams “doesn’t cut it for a lot of people.”
“Some people have a tolerance that’s massive,” Tacke said, noting that edibles, particularly gummies, are quite popular with the dispensary’s customers. He said that he and his partners have been preparing for the regulatory change and already have plans in place to produce more potent edible products soon.
Tasha Grossl, the owner of Lady Gray in Soldotna, also supports the new potency limits for cannabis edibles.
“Moving to 10 milligrams per piece and 100 milligrams per package we feel is a big win for both the legal industry and the consumers,” Grossl wrote in an email.
Lady Gray has also been getting ready for the change in regulations and how the new limits will affect the company’s products, which include gourmet edibles such as THC-infused southern-style sweet tea and cinnamon raisin almond butter.
“Depending on the sizes and flavor profiles, some items will be a good fit with minor reformulations, while others will take more work to have the desired flavors matching the desired potencies,” said Grossl.
Anchorage attorney Jana Weltzin, who represents several clients in the cannabis industry, said that the new regulations will give manufacturers more flexibility in the production of their products while allowing them to operate more efficiently.
“It’s really expensive to produce these tiny little, five-milligram servings because you can pack more punch into a 10 milligram unit,” said Weltzin.
Lacy Wilcox, president of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association, also noted the improved efficiency possible under the new rules. He believes that the new THC limits for cannabis edibles make the state’s regulations more consistent with the needs of consumers.
“From a business perspective, or an economic perspective, when you’re able to have this more standardized dose, it decreases your cost to produce,” Wilcox said earlier this year when the new regulations were being considered by the board. “The more potent a product is, the less of those products you might need to make. The average consumer of cannabis is going to need more than 5 milligrams—they’re going to need perhaps even more than 50 milligrams.”
Licensed cannabis retailers will be able to sell marijuana edibles with the new, higher-THC potency limits beginning on September 1. The new regulations do not affect the maximum daily purchase limit of 5,600 milligrams of THC per person.