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Oregon Pot Edibles Group: Start Slowly

With the state's recreational marijuana program slowly ramping up to include edibles, an advocacy group is working to launch a campaign to encourage first-time users to start with a low dose.

Looking to try an edible? “Try 5” first.

That’s the recommendation of the Oregon Responsible Edibles Council (OREC), which is launching a public education campaign to correspond with the state’s decision to allow the public to purchase edibles from medical marijuana dispensaries for recreational purposes.

The public will be able to purchase edibles with up to 15 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the primary active ingredient in cannabis. But OREC is encouraging people to start with a much lower dosage of THC—5 milligrams—so they’re aware of the effect the chemical will have on their bodies.

The group is associated with the edibles industry—OREC’s founder, Dave McNicoll, produces Dave’s Space Cakes—but emphasizes that its goal is to encourage a safe, educational approach to the issue.

“We want to be very proactive,” McNicoll told The Oregonian last month. “We want to show the state that we care so much about this issue and we are trying to be as safe as possible. We are willing to fund it ourselves.”

The campaign comes as edibles have become one of the more contentious parts of the pot legalization movement. As edibles often have a stronger dosage than might be anticipated, they have led to occasional overdoses. Last year, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report argued that edibles need labels and dosage guidelines.

“Because of the delayed effects of THC-infused edibles, multiple servings might be consumed in close succession before experiencing the ‘high’ from the initial serving, as reportedly occurred in this case,” the CDC report said.

The concerns of overdosing partly influenced the Oregon Health Authority’s decision to limit recreational edibles to 15 milligram serving sizes, but McNicoll worried that even that dosage was too risky for some.

“It’s more important to get that out now: 15 (milligrams) is going to be too much for some people,” McNicoll told The Oregonian. “People need to know they don’t need to eat the whole candy bar.”

OREC, which has launched its campaign with about $5,000, is currently calling on other producers to help further fund the campaign, so the message is prominent at each of the state’s nearly 350 dispensaries selling to a recreational market.

(iStock/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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