UPDATED: Medical Marijuana Clubs No Longer Asked to Get Rid of Hash, Kief

Categories: Marijuana
(UPDATE, 4 p.m.): The Department of Public Health has rescinded an earlier memo in which it suggested San Francisco's medical cannabis dispensaries not provide products made from concentrated cannabis, including hash and edibles, according to Stephanie Tucker, spokeswoman for the city's Medical Cannabis Task Force. The decision was made in a meeting Tuesday morning between DPH officials and cannabis dispensary operators and activists, Tucker said.
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Some good, some not

(Original story, 7:30 a.m.): Marijuana-infused cookies, oils, and tinctures would be banned from San Francisco medical marijuana dispensaries, along with concentrated forms of cannabis like hashish and kief, under new rules proposed by the Department of Public Health.

In a memo released to several dispensaries under the heading "Medical Cannabis Edibles Advisory," DPH -- the city department that regulates San Francisco's 21 medical cannabis dispensaries -- recommends pot clubs "do not produce or dispense syrups, capsules, or other extracts that either required [sic] concentrating cannabis active ingredients or that requires a chemical production process." Read the full document here.

There's no enforcement mechanism and is not a "ban," a DPH spokeswoman told SF Weekly. But it's nonetheless problematic for dispensaries, which would need to remove many edible products from their shelves, as well as hashes and kiefs, in order to play by the rules. It would also be problematic for medical pot users, many of whom say concentrated cannabis is their preferred or only way to glean marijuana's health benefits.

For the uninitiated, marijuana can take many forms. The "buds" one sees are dried flowers; those flowers can be ground up and the plant material removed via several processes to create a concentrate like hash or kief. The dose is much stronger, and if smoked or vaporized, is arguably healthier because less plant material is combusted (a hit will be 50 percent active ingredients or more, as opposed to 10 to 15 percent).

Some people can't smoke or vaporize due to lung issues, and instead sprinkle kief in hot cocoa, or eat cookies baked from hash, according to David Goldman, a patient advocate with Americans for Safe Access.

Patients in hospice care have taken to using "vapor pens" in which a small amount of concentrated cannabis is administered in a device not unlike an "e-cigarette," according to Erich Pearson, executive director of dispensary SPARC on Mission Street.

That said, concentrated cannabis can lead to problems -- the Ingleside apartment explosion that injured a 12-year old boy, which occurred when the occupants were allegedly using butane to make hash oil, according to reports. Use of chemical solvents like butane to make hash is already illegal under state law; methods using water and carbon dioxide gas are both safer and both legal.

The memo in question purports to deal more with medical marijuana edibles, which means any orally consumed medical marijuana product, from a brownie to a cough drop and a tincture or a tea. "To avoid potential hazards associated with edibles, pending the development of a statewide regulatory approach, the Department recommends medical cannabis and collectives ... limit the production of medical cannabis edibles to non-hazardous foods, such as baked goods, candies, and teas (what a hazardous food might be is beyond us)," "clearly label medical cannabis edibles," "be able to trace all medical cannabis edibles to their source constituents," among other things.

This is a big deal in the medical marijuana community, and one the DPH did not discuss with the press on Monday. Eileen Shields, a department spokeswoman, only wrote in an e-mail, saying there's no "ban." Rajiv Bhatia, who is in charge of the DPH section that oversees medical marijuana, did not return an e-mail seeking comment.

It also includes a seeming conflict with city law, which allows "cannabis" to be dispensed for medical purposes, and defines cannabis as "all parts of the plant cannabis," according to Article 33 of the San Francisco Health Code.

Since no penalties are listed, it might mean nothing -- or it might mean that dispensaries could be violating DPH regulations and such violations used as pretexts to shut down dispensaries. It could also make the city's dispensaries "look bad" in front of federal law enforcement.

"It would make us look like we're skirting the rules," said one dispensary operator, who asked for anonymity.

These rules are not scheduled for any public discussion; however, activists like Goldman are speaking at the Health Commission's 4 p.m. meeting today to inform commissioners that concentrates must stay.

"It's unacceptable," he said. "We want to work with DPH to make sure any new policy works for patients."

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21 comments
Tim Giangiobbe
Tim Giangiobbe

Concentrated cannabis is healthy and less expensive than the other. The buds have become too expensive due to street influence on pricing. Concentrated cannabis is quick and easy. Less ritual. Less particulate matter. More medicinal Get real quit the sensationalism on your stories. The latest attack today by George Gascon willl have repercussions

NaturalMedicine
NaturalMedicine

The major problem with dispensaries in California is that many sell Butane Hash Oil.  BHO is illegal to make in California so dispensaries are labeling it CO2 extracted.  Dispensaries that are falsely labeling products should be prosecuted and shut down.  All though some do lab test their products there is a lot that don't. IMO all cannabis and extracts should be lab tested before they are sold. It is medicine after all.  Any idiot with some butane and a tube can make BHO and sell it to a dispensary as "CO2 extract".  Many have no knowledge of basic chemistry and they think they can purge the butane out properly.  BHO is safe if made properly unfortunately there is no regulation so anyone can make it and say they purged it 7 times.  It needs to be regulated and made in a lab by people with chemistry backgrounds.  Unfortunately there is so much money to be made off of concentrates selling for $30-60 per gram.  That is cocaine prices! I don't know how you can say you are running a non profit when you are turning trim (waste material) into a product that costs the same as cocaine.

Tim Giangiobbe
Tim Giangiobbe

Not true. SPARC sells concentrated cannabis at 15 a gram.Most of them water extracted. Butane hash tastes like crap and is hardly available anymore the way it was years ago The deals happen on four packs. When four grams are purchased and gives a fifteen percent discount to us military veterans and then rewards us ten percent. Take advantage of the rewards. So when more is purchased next visit costs less. I have purchased concentrated cannabis that is 50 percent THC.,For as little as 12.50 per gram after discount Get your facts straight. The sooner cannabis is legalized the price will go way down. Street prices do effect some clubs adversely. I have been involved with the movement since its inception. We do not need any more fights for political  ground we already conquered. Greg Suhr attacked the cannabis clubs calling them ILLEGAL. This is war.

johnny15150
johnny15150

when heated thc becomes psychoactive ,ingesting cannabis in oil or tinctures is the only way to heal certain ailments.google  Phoenix Tearsor youtubeRICK SIMPSON  RUN FROM THE CUREIs it a coincidence that hash is felony according to the feds? 

elexigente
elexigente

Topical application of cannabinoids with various oils, salves and the like allow patients to benefit from the healing powers of cannabinoids without getting "high." This has been clinically proven and anyone who is trying to stop patients from reaping these benefits does not belong in the "health" business.

Tim Giangiobbe
Tim Giangiobbe

Dude subtle influential manipulation is being asserted by BIG PHARMA They have been busy at work trying to disassemble the medical cannabis community and we have to take action. Today George Gascon attacked the cannabis clubs calling them ILLEGAL. This is going to cost them in the long run .We worked hard to make the world safer by providing pot clubs and harm reduction. We shall not be terrorized by the DA. TOO. The very office that should appreciate the harm reduction.

Efrantes
Efrantes

So look at how wonderful that medical marijuana task force is working out!  More restrictions, more taxes, higher prices, less access.  Are they being paid under the table by the DEA?  Certainly they are more effective in restricting access than the feds ever dreamed of. 

Efrantes
Efrantes

We were better off before the City and the State started taxing and regulating everyone out of business, and made medication unaffordable to those who need it the most. 

Bsh
Bsh

THIS IS RETARDED! We should be decriminalizing. what the fuk is wrong with people. 

Z White
Z White

I think that the ban on edibles and oils is unethical. Some people just can't smoke the bud due to their disease or medical problems. It's kind of like telling someone who's on a feeding tube that they now have to eat solid food. Other patiants just simply dont like smoking it. When you try to get the thc out of the plant using water, it gives you a deluted substance that takes more ingestation to reap the same benifits of honey oil (oil made using butane to extract it).

Benjamin Nachum Avshalom
Benjamin Nachum Avshalom

YOURE SECOND STATEMENT IS BULLSHIT. LOOK UP ESSENTIAL EXTRACTS SOLVENTLESS DABABLES, NIKKA T CAN TEACH YOU TO MAKE OVER %50 THC FULL MELT WATER WAX (ICE HASH). WHAT YOU WAITING FOR ?¿?¿ DON?T BELIEVE THE HYPE; BHO LASTS LESS LONG, NEEDS PURGING AND SPECIAL EQUIPMENT, ALWAYS CONTAINS CONTAMINANTS (MERCANS) AND IS WASTEFUL TOO (NATURAL GAS;CANS).

your mother
your mother

you're one dumb mother fucker. eat shit.

joeyrockx
joeyrockx

So let me get this straight, they say it isn't safe to smoke. OK, so people vaporize or use edibles. Now its not safe to have edibles, what's next? Its hard to keep up with this crap. He people have spoken, stop screwing with their medicine!

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

And it sounds like you're trying to justify your drug war madness retardation.  Your[sic] either a liar or an idiot, which one is it?

Kt
Kt

There are patients who need the medicine but cannot smoke or vaporize. Edibles and hash (melted into some food) are safe ways to medicate. Eating it is good for deep muscle pain, insomnia, pain from chemotherapy among other uses. Way to paint medical marijuana users like 1980's Cheech and Chong. I'd rather take a natural substance than ruin my liver with Vicodin

Tim Giangiobbe
Tim Giangiobbe

I agree and the patients with chronic pain will find that cannabis helps you take less narcotics.  The PAIN gurus are finding credibility with the combination. Everyone is different and what works for me may not work for you. The healthier method of titration involves concentrated cannabis. I want THC not useless dangerous medicine. THC works. 

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

What makes you think that they can't be both at the same time?

Tim Giangiobbe
Tim Giangiobbe

the ignorance is astonishing. Concentrated cannabis is quick and simple and absolutely free of excess particulate matter. The proper water methods of extraction are not only safe they assure that the waste will be minimal after trimming the buds. The ONLY thing that should be worried about is the extraction method and whether flammable dangerous methods are used. That is a safety issue. Otherwise quit sensationalizing our methods of titration 

joeyrockx
joeyrockx

They can, I'm just pointing out the hypocrisy.

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