Physicians Urge Regulation of Delta-8 THC and Other Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids

A prominent medical organization is the latest voice advocating for stricter regulations governing intoxicating cannabinoids derived from hemp, including the popular delta-8 THC. Doctors for Drug Policy Reform (D4DPR) argues unregulated access to such psychoactive compounds poses potential public health risks.

In a new policy paper, D4DPR states “all intoxicating cannabinoids should be subject to a regulatory framework to ensure public safety.” The group, comprised of healthcare professionals supporting drug policy reform, contends the 2018 Farm Bill inadvertently allowed hemp-derived cannabinoids like delta-8 THC to proliferate without oversight.

“In 22 states, delta-8 THC remains legal and unregulated, with limited testing and taxation, lacking warnings, without dosing limits, and easily accessible to minors,” the paper notes regarding the cannabis-like compound converted from hemp CBD.

To address these issues, D4DPR outlined several recommended regulations for intoxicating cannabinoids regardless of their source plant. These include restricting sales to licensed adult-use dispensaries, imposing appropriate taxes to fund public health initiatives, and limiting purchases to those 21 and older.

Additional proposals call for child-resistant packaging, clear labeling on intoxicating effects, required product testing for safety and potency, and aligning rules with existing cannabis programs in medical/recreational states. D4DPR also advocates rescheduling cannabis federally to avoid perpetuating “the drug war.”

The physicians’ stance reflects growing calls from health experts, regulators and law enforcement to establish a unified legal framework for newly emergent hemp cannabinoids like delta-8 THC. Concerns center on the lack of manufacturing standards and access restrictions enabling uncontrolled sales of potentially hazardous consumables.

As the hemp-derived cannabinoid market rapidly expands, D4DPR asserts “reasonable access” should be balanced with strict safety protocols through comprehensive regulations – a middle-ground many feel the 2018 Farm Bill failed to provide clear guidance on.

Amid the evolving policy debate, medical voices are increasingly advocating for legislation to catch up with the latest cannabis compounds before potential health ramifications manifest.


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