Attorneys General Urge Congressional Action on Regulating Intoxicating Hemp Products

Nearly twenty state attorneys general have penned a joint letter to Congress, pressing for federal regulations on intoxicating hemp products. The missive, dated March 20, highlights the surge in availability of these items following the legalization of hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill, which has raised concerns regarding public health and safety.

Led by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita and Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin, the bipartisan appeal emphasizes the need for clarity in the legislation. They assert that the current regulatory framework has led to the proliferation of products containing potent cannabinoids like delta 8 THC, THCA, and HHC, which pose significant risks, particularly to youth.

The letter, addressed to key members of the Senate and House agriculture committees, urges Congress to address the ambiguities in the existing legislation. It underscores the challenges faced by states in regulating these products effectively, citing their attractiveness to minors and the absence of oversight.

In response to the growing concerns, state regulators have been actively seeking measures to control the influx of unregulated intoxicating hemp products. Critics argue that these products not only jeopardize public health but also pose a threat to licensed marijuana businesses, which operate under stringent regulations.

However, efforts to regulate intoxicating hemp products have faced resistance from some quarters. Legal battles have ensued, with certain companies challenging new regulations on the grounds that the 2018 Farm Bill permits hemp-derived cannabinoids other than delta-9 THC.

Despite legal setbacks, advocates for regulation remain steadfast in their pursuit. California Attorney General Bonta, a signatory to the letter, emphasized the need to protect children from these potentially harmful substances. He called for legislative action to close the regulatory gap created by the 2018 Farm Bill.

The letter concludes with a call to redefine hemp in the upcoming farm bill, currently under debate in Congress, to facilitate effective regulation. It stresses the importance of congressional intervention to resolve the confusion surrounding hemp legality and safeguard public health.

Indiana Solicitor General James Barta echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the necessity for Congress to address the root cause of the regulatory ambiguity. He underscored the urgency of legislative action to establish consistency and clarity in hemp regulation at both state and federal levels.


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