Intoxicating hemp products like Delta-8-THC would be banned in Illinois under the Springfield proposal, leaving hemp companies fighting for their survival.
“Big cannabis companies are not interested in regulating cannabis companies like me,” said Charles Wu, CEO of cannabis grower Nexem. Chitiva A store that sells Delta-8 told the Tribune. “What they want is a complete ban on our industry.”
“The ban is for hemp intoxication,” said Pam Alsoff of the Illinois Cannabis Business Association, which represents licensed marijuana businesses. “Normal CBD products with small amounts of THC are perfectly legal and no one is trying to stop their production.”
As of Thursday afternoon, no bill had been introduced to ban cannabis, but lobbyists have put together a last-minute omnibus covering a wide range of changes to cannabis law, from scaling up craft growers to allowing business tax credits. Worked to add a ban on the bill. .
The dispute is the result of the 2018 Federal Farm Bill, which legalized hemp and “all derivatives.” The law defines hemp as cannabis with less than 0.3% delta-9-THC, the main ingredient in cannabis that gets the user high.
At the time, a popular hemp by-product was CBD, a non-intoxicating drug, but the lack of federal guidelines stagnated the market. Lawmakers did not anticipate the rise of a cottage industry making other products from hemp, including delta-8, delta-10-THC and THCO, which are said to get users high but milder than cannabis.
Smokehouses, gas stations and websites across the country have been set up to sell the product, often along with illegal Delta-9-THC, often without age restrictions, and candies and cookies resembling big name brands. We sell products that contain Last month, five Chicago high school students were taken to hospital after vomiting after ingesting edible gummies at a nearby smokehouse.
Cannabis growers say state-licensed cannabis gummies have played a part in the rise in hundreds of child ingestion incidents in Illinois.
Unlike state-licensed cannabis companies, who are required to test and label their products for potency and purity, there are no such requirements for hemp products, and they do not contain solvents or acids that produce heavy metals or unknown by-products. It may be manufactured usingSome hemp companies test and label, but analysis of both hemp and cannabis products shows that many companies Incorrect label.
To address this, cannabis advocates have proposed legislation that: Permits and Regulations for Cannabis Productionrestricts sale to adults over the age of 21 and requires testing for metals, solvents, potency and purity.
Beyond safety concerns, disputes between cannabis companies are also about money. Cannabis growers say a small group of cannabis companies licensed to grow cannabis are trying to monopolize the market.
Hemp-derived addictive products, primarily delta-8-THC, have experienced explosive growth over the past two years. Industry analyst Brightfield Group recently estimated annual sales for Delta 8 at his $1 billion. Threats to distract cannabis usersA third of them had used hemp products in the past six months.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns: Negative effects of marijuana and hemp THC products, including underage ingestion and illness. Like cannabis, some states ban intoxicants while others regulate and tax them.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration also recently proposed changes to federal law that: Ban THC products They argue that they are illegal because they are synthetically extracted from hemp, but a federal judge has ruled otherwise.
A licensed cannabis company in Illinois has expressed concerns about Delta-8 products. They commissioned a lab analysis of 25 Delta 8 products from edibles to e-cigarettes to flowers. Analysis by LK Pure Labs consistently found high levels of delta-9-THC, often exceeding licensed store standards, and in some cases contaminants such as mold and bacteria. .
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“On the one hand, we have a highly regulated industry with a strict focus on compliance, and on the other hand, we have stores that claim to be the same, selling untested and unregulated products to minors. , which is causing consumer health and safety issues.” It should be stopped before it causes confusion, reputational damage, and more serious injuries and deaths.” cress collaboration Communications Director Jason Arks wrote to the Tribune.
Representatives from Gov. JB Pritzker, State Cannabis Regulatory Commissioner, State Senator Kimberly Lightford, and State Rep. talked about. Laws that include hemp. Lawmakers are busy with other matters, including approving the state budget, but they are expected to finish the spring legislative session on Friday.
Both sides were busy lobbying lawmakers on Thursday.
“This move is not being made to protect the public, but to further the monopoly that cannabis has in Illinois and crush any legal competition,” Wu wrote to the Tribune. . “Big Cannabis cannot ‘own’ the hemp industry and is currently trying to ban it.”
Instead of banning intoxicating hemp products, Ford wanted them inspected, labeled and taxed.
“More effective regulation is essential, but I don’t want to hurt the economy by regulating hemp companies and making them disappear,” he said. “It will only fuel an ugly war on drugs, foster crime, drive consumers into the illegal market, and drive thriving businesses out of Illinois.”