In August, Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) and the Division of Cannabis Regulation released a statement to clarify legalities for newly licensed infusers’ ability to produce their own cannabis concentrates and manufacture concentrate into vape cartridges. Both were prohibited. Recently, though, IDOA released an updated version of the statement that included additional wording to eliminate one of those prohibitions.
IDOA’s new wording, or interpretation, in the statement now allows licensed infusers to manufacture concentrate into vape cartridges by clarifying how oil vape cartridges are defined in the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA). The adjustment hinges on the word “combustion.”
Illinois law characterized Vaping as “changing cannabis from a hard, soft, or liquid form by combustion, heat, electricity, or batteries into a form that can be inhaled by the user and is specifically defined as smoking.” The compliance alert stated, “The definition of ‘cannabis-infused product’ specifically limits production to products that must not be intended to be smoked. This means that an infuser organization cannot manufacture or process cannabis into pre-rolls or cannabis concentrate into vape cartridges.”
The new wording in the compliance alert stated, “Oil vape cartridges can be considered ‘cannabis-infused products’ under the CRTA since vaping would not generally be considered ‘smoking’ so long as combustion is not required to vaporize the ‘cannabis-infused product.’”
Infusers are still prohibited from extracting or producing their own concentrate and must “obtain concentrates from an Illinois Department of Agriculture licensed cannabis cultivation center or craft grower in order to manufacture cannabis infused products.” The statement read, “Only cultivation centers and craft growers can extract cannabis into concentrate. Infusers cannot extract cannabis; however, they can produce infused products using cannabis concentrate produced by cultivation centers or craft growers.”
Licensed infusers are also restricted to producing only infused cannabis products that are “shelf stable.” No cannabis infused products that require refrigeration or hot-holding may be manufactured for sale or distribution at a dispensing organization. For questions related to this Compliance Alert, please contact the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Division of Cannabis Regulation, by emailing AGR.ADULTUSE@Illinois.gov.
To better understand the wording, Illinois law also defines these terms in the following way.
“Cannabis concentrate” means a product derived from cannabis that is produced by extracting cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), from the plant through the use of propylene glycol, glycerin, butter, olive oil, or other typical cooking fats; water, ice, or dry ice; or butane, propane, CO2, ethanol, or isopropanol and with the intended use of smoking or making a cannabis-infused product. The use of any other solvent is expressly prohibited unless and until it is approved by the Department of Agriculture.
“Cannabis-infused product” means a beverage, food, oil, ointment, tincture, topical formulation, or another product containing cannabis or cannabis concentrate that is not intended to be smoked.
“Infuser organization” or “infuser” means a facility operated by an organization or business that is licensed by the Department of Agriculture to directly incorporate cannabis or cannabis concentrate into a product formulation to produce a cannabis-infused product. For more Illinois cannabis industry news, click here.
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