Oregon sending marijuana inspectors to hemp grows

Oregon is sending commercial marijuana inspectors (and possibly the National Guard) to hemp fields to look for illicit marijuana.

The change comes after Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a new law to define delta-8 THC as an “adult-use cannabinoid” and to open the door to considering the THC isomer an “adulterant.”

The law bans the sale of hemp products containing THC to minors and calls for a “maximum concentration” on “any artificially derived cannabinoid,” similar to concentration limits already in effect on delta-9 THC in marijuana products.

The law also allows state marijuana inspectors to review hemp grows in conjunction with the state Department of Agriculture, which tests hemp for THC content. The governor is allowed to call the Oregon National Guard to help inspect hemp crops, too.

Brown signed the bill Monday.

Soon after, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which regulates marijuana, adopted temporary rules allowing its inspectors to review hemp to “stop the illegal production of marijuana disguised as hemp production.”

“We’re really trying to spot check and take a minimum amount of samples to figure out what is commercial marijuana,” Executive Director Steve Marks told KTVZ-TV in Portland.

The law also directs Oregon marijuana regulators to create a map of industrial-hemp operations and share it with law enforcement.