Whether focused on hemp as a whole extract or the contentious cannabinoid delta-8 THC, legislators across the country continue to tussle over hemp regulations at the state level, with recent cases popping up in multiple states, as the U.S. Hemp Roundtable reported.
In Minnesota, a case involving the conviction of a man for possessing a liquid THC product was unsuccessfully appealed late last year and is now heading to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
The reasoning for the decision to uphold the original ruling in State v. Loveless involves THC scheduling; Minnesota treats THC as a controlled substance regardless of whether it is part of a hemp extract or not, meaning plenty of otherwise federally legal hemp products (liquid CBD tinctures and vape products containing no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight, as per 2018 Farm Bill) in the state are theoretically just as liable as the defendant’s vape cartridge.
To rally against this anti-hemp legislative climate, the U.S. Hemp Roundtable report goes on to shed light on SF 376, a newly proposed bill in Minnesota that, while it won’t clear the defendant in this case, still “makes headway and is worth supporting.”
The legal picture in Virginia is currently honing in on two recently proposed bills, SB 391 and HB 897, which would restrict edible hemp products to people age 21 and over while completely disallowing the use of alcohol or nicotine in said products.
Another troubling provision in the bills for hemp supporters is the proposed shift of hemp regulation responsibilities from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to the state’s Cannabis Control Authority, effectively lumping in hemp extracts with high-THC cannabis from a legal perspective.
The U.S. Hemp Roundtable is calling on their readership and all proponents of pro-hemp legislation to oppose these pieces of legislation in Virginia using their State Action Center.
All the while, states like South Dakota, Hawaii, and Indiana are moving to restrict the manufacturing, sale, and use of delta-8 THC, a close analog of delta-9 THC that needs to be created synthetically to reach noticeable concentrations.
South Dakota’s HB 1054—which would have completely barred and criminalized delta-8 THC—didn’t make it through the legislature.
Conversely, Hawaii and Indiana’s proposals would restrict delta-8 by moving it under the definition of delta-9 THC and prohibiting the sale of “isomerized” cannabinoids (Hawaii, HB 1886), and defining delta-8 THC as a synthetic drug (Indiana, SB 209).
We will continue to report on these and other findings as states further develop their hemp regulation plans.