Legalization is here, and I feel like I've discovered a new passion. Not smoking weed, that's nothing new to me. No, I believe I'm going to have a great time getting worked up over the nonsensical aspects of the law known as CanG.

Don't get me wrong, I welcome the law. Primarily as a step in the right direction, as a foot in the door for a future in which cannabis will finally be regulated with reason and understanding. But until then, there's still a long way to go, as the small and large, the tragically comical, and the sad contradictions and omissions become very clear upon closer examination of the law.

The following text is the testament of my first personal encounter with these contradictions.

The specific question arose from the idea of possibly offering a special service in my shop in the future. A service that allows my customers to press their own cannabis flowers with a so-called Rosin Press. This device enables the purely mechanical and solvent-free extraction of a product known in Germany, in a different context and with other starting materials, as colophony.

With such a Rosin Press, resin is separated from the flowers with some heat and as much pressure as possible. The heat liquefies the resin, and the pressure presses it out of the plant material and captures it separately.

So, now that my customers can legally possess up to 50 grams of dried flowers from April 1, 2024, it only makes sense to offer this service in the store. After all, consuming Rosin is less harmful to health since you don't ingest the superfluous plant material, unlike smoking a joint. Instead, you only inhale the essence of the plant, including the active ingredients and terpenes contained within. These are responsible for the many different flavors of cannabis and make the vapor of Rosin an incomparable taste experience.

You read that right: vapor. To enjoy the full spectrum of aroma and active substances of Rosin, this extract is typically not smoked but vaporized at the lowest possible temperatures. In addition to the advantages already mentioned, vaporizing Rosin offers clear health benefits compared to smoking. For this special purpose, there are, of course, pipes and vaporizers in various designs. And the increase in sales of this product segment would be the motivation behind the service with the Rosin Press.

This would naturally create a win-win situation for both parties, as this service could be of interest to the customer for various reasons. First and foremost, because a good Rosin Press can cost several thousand euros if you want one. Last but not least, because Rosin is a real delicacy for all Cannaseurs for the reasons already mentioned.

So much for the idea. Now for the practical implementation under the new legislation. I quickly consulted the collective intelligence oracle of the Cannabis Community for their assessment and put the idea up for discussion in a relevant Dabbing group on Facebook. Reactions followed promptly and unanimously: "No, you can't do that. Rosin remains illegal!"

According to CanG, the extraction of cannabinoids from the cannabis plant is explicitly prohibited. This does not apply to the extraction of CBD[...] But, in the typical style of the traffic light coalition, the rest of the text fails to provide an official definition of what exactly is meant by extraction. However, between the lines and from other areas of the law, there are quite clear indications of how the legislator wants the word to be defined. First, there is the addition "This does not apply to the extraction of CBD"

CBD, along with THC, is another important active substance in the hemp plant, a so-called cannabinoid. Medically of great interest, CBD can only be obtained through extraction in the exact chemical sense of the word. You simply cannot isolate CBD by pressing or sieving the plant, let alone from the other cannabinoids. To extract and isolate pure CBD from the cannabis plant, a classic, chemical extraction using solvents, also called extraction agents, is always required. There's no other way. And so, this exception already provides a quite clear definition of what the legislator intends by the use of the word extraction.

Another hint is that classic hashish is also allowed under the cannabis law. But what exactly is hashish? Hashish could indeed be described as an extract, as hash consists of the pure resin of the plant. The fine difference lies in the method of production. Hash is traditionally obtained by sieving dried flowers, or in some regions by rubbing fresh flower heads between the hands. The extremely sticky resin remains on the hands and is then scraped off.

In any case, hashish is always a product made by a purely mechanical separation process, which is not chemically considered an extraction. According to Wikipedia's definition, extraction is "any separation process in which a (solid, liquid, or gaseous) extraction agent is used to remove one or more components from a mixture of substances (consisting of solid, liquid, or gaseous individual substances), the

 extraction material.

With the help of an extraction agent. Okay, but maybe a mechanical press could also be considered an extraction agent? No, it cannot! Wikipedia says:

"As extraction agents (also called solvents) are defined in chemistry as substances with which a valuable component (extract) is selectively dissolved out of an extraction material (leaving behind the extraction residue). The process itself is called extraction and is a method of substance separation, substance extraction, or substance enrichment."
An extraction agent, in the chemical sense, is therefore clearly a substance. A mechanical press, and even heat and pressure, are not substances and thus not extraction agents in the sense of CanG.

Allowed as of 04/01 are "for persons who have reached the age of 18, the possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis, in terms of flowers, flower-close leaves, or other plant material of the cannabis plant based on the weight after drying, for personal use"

The plant's resin is at least covered under the term other plant material and is legal, which is why hashish is also legal. So far, so consistent. Now, the resin is bound in so-called trichomes. A trichome, simplified, looks like a small golf ball on a tee. The ball is filled with THC-containing resin.  
In the production of hashish, these small golf balls are sieved, trying to leave the tees on the plant as much as possible. The result of a very fine sieving is then called Drysift. The name says it all, because Drysift is a rather dry and at first hardly sticky powder. To turn Drysift into hashish, further processing steps are required, which can look quite different depending on the tradition of the country of origin.

In the end, it always comes down to bursting the little golf balls with more or less pressure and heat so that the sticky resin is released and binds into a homogeneous mass, ideally containing no foreign substances or plant parts. The only remaining impurity in the end product named hashish are the burst shells of the golf balls and their tees, made of collagen and plant wax.

If you want to produce an even purer essence, you cannot avoid extraction in the classic, chemical sense of the word, using chemical solvents.

It remains to be noted: Hashish is created by mechanical "extraction" using (sometimes a bit of heat) and pressure to burst the golf balls. And we remember, hashish is quasi legal by law definition as of now.

Thus, in the cannabis law, we have two clear indications of what the legislator considers prohibited extraction. And Rosin simply cannot be categorized in this. Because Rosin is obtained, unlike CBD and just like hashish, through mechanical processes, without chemical auxiliaries, and contains, unlike for example BHO obtained using butane gas as a solvent, still all components of the golf ball, that is to say of the trichome. These components of Rosin can also only be filtered out of the end product using a solvent such as alcohol and the so-called winterizing technique.

Since Rosin, however, in its quality and strength, is more comparable to a solvent-based extract than to classic hashish, in my opinion, the legislator has deliberately tried to mislead us with a vague formulation.

I am firmly convinced that an attempt at legal clarification of this issue will not be long in coming. And I bet a tenner that I will ultimately be proven right and that my Rosin Press will be possible in the store.