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The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) has spoken out in favor of delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) obtained from hemp.
In a press release, the association took the position that all hemp-derived cannabinoids were legalized at the federal level by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the Farm Bill 2018) and Delta-8 should therefore be regulated but approved for production and sale in the United States
The association backed up its stance with a legal opinion that analyzed the legality of the controversial cannabinoid and was written by attorneys Rod Kight and Philip Snow of Kight Law.
The legality of Delta-8 is still debated among legal experts. Although it comes from legal hemp, it is often converted from cannabidiol (CBD) or delta-9-THC. For this reason, some interpret Delta-8 as “synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols”. In its final regulation on hemp published in August 2020, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made it clear that synthetically obtained tetrahydrocannabinols should be considered planned substances despite their delta-9 THC content.
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“Businesses, farmers and consumers deserve all regulations that support the exploration of the full potential of the hemp plant. This is not just about one small cannabinoid – the list is already over a hundred and growing, ”said Jody McGinness, Executive Director of HIA, in a press release. “Fortunately, the industry has all the expertise lawmakers could need, and these leading manufacturers and scientists are committed and ready to develop productive policy solutions.”
The attitude of the HIA
The key points from Kight and Snow’s analysis, which includes HIA’s position, are as follows:
The 2018 Farm Bill defined “hemp” to include all of its cannabinoids and tetrahydrocannabinols. The Agriculture Act also stipulated that hemp be regulated as an agricultural product.
Delta-8 requires a regulatory framework to protect consumer safety and to prioritize research into the cannabinoid.
“Prohibition is a failed concept,” HIA said in the press release. The association is calling on state lawmakers to lift all Delta-8 bans and instead work with experts in the hemp industry to draft policies that “open markets, promote innovation, stimulate investment and create valuable jobs.”
The HIA also urges industry leaders to help consumers and the market as a whole by implementing rigorous testing protocols, using responsible and transparent marketing, and including potency data and warnings about consumption.
The HIA added in the press release that its recently formed Cannabinoids Council, which focuses on national cannabinoid priorities, “identified safe market expansion as a core objective of its early efforts.”
The association is currently involved in two legal proceedings over the DEA’s preliminary final decision on hemp for its stance on synthetically derived THC. It is the association’s fourth complaint to the DEA since 1994.
Another position in the industry
On the other hand, the US Hemp Roundtable (USHR), another prominent industry organization, took a more conservative approach to the cannabinoid.
In late April, the USHR issued a statement that Delta-8 should be regulated rather than banned. However, the USHR proposed regulating Delta-8, “similar to adult cannabis sold by minors in pharmacy-like settings”.
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“The traces of dietary supplements and food / drink additives should be limited to non-intoxicating hemp products,” added the association.
At the time, the USHR said it was in the process of developing science-based guidelines regarding Delta-8 and other intoxicating hemp products that could be used by both local and national governments. “We’re worried about [a] A patchwork of state laws created that create confusion and affect international trade, “the USHR said in a statement.