States, Licensed Growers Push Back On THC Derived From Legally Grown Hemp

All around the country, THC derived from legally grown hemp is being sold in gas stations, smoke shops, and the like – with absolutely no oversight. Different forms of THC including, Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC, which are synthesized from CBD extracted from legally grown hemp, are bypassing federal regulations that only list Delta-9 THC as a limiting cannabinoid in hemp. Technically, any hemp plant grown in the USA cannot have more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC present in the plant but makes no mention of other THC derivatives in the 2018 Farm Bill. This spiraled the hemp industry from its true intentions of creating textiles and bioplastics into an unregulated murky scene.

Now, lawmakers and licensed growers are pushing back on THC derived from legally grown hemp, stating it isn’t safe and undercuts licensed THC production. It is far cheaper and more efficient to grow hemp for CBD and then synthesize THC from it. What’s more, these derived THC products can be sold in almost every state (excluding Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah, and Washington) whereas Delta-9 products can only be sold in states with legal cannabis. The average cost of a liter of Delta-9 THC distillate has dropped from $50,000 to $6,000, partly due to the lucrative hack of synthesizing THC from CBD. Tennessee, Michigan, California, Oregon, and many other states are seeking regulation on these CBD-derived cannabinoids, either by outright banning them or regulating the amounts of derived THC in consumer products. If this picks up traction, which is likely after the FDA released its Delta-8 report, companies that have bet on this synthesis niche will be in trouble. 

Companies at risk include Acid Neutral Alkaline Laboratory, Arielium Health, Pure Tonic Concentrates, FinChemica, and CannaCraft. All companies, excluding CannaCraft, only have patent protection for synthesizing THC from CBD which could become obsolete if laws pass regulating derived THC products like Delta-8 THC. It seems likely that regulations will come about given the accessibility of such products and their mind-altering capabilities. The CDC pointed out that between December 2020 and July 2021, poison control centers and emergency rooms have seen an increase in people requiring assistance. Eighteen percent of these incidents required intensive care unit hospitalizations, of which thirty-nine percent involved a minor. 

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