Earlier this year, the General Assembly of Virginia established a task force to study the increase in unregulated delta-8 THC products in the state; the assembly has recommended tougher rules for businesses that sell these products.
Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive substance found in marijuana. Similar to delta-9 THC, which is found abundantly in marijuana, the compound produces a high when consumed, either through smoking or consuming an edible.
The state of Virginia legalized the recreational use of cannabis for individuals aged 21 and above in July 2021. Under the enacted law, individuals can legally possess up to an ounce of cannabis.
While legalization is a step forward in the movement to federally decriminalize cannabis, it has led to gaps in enforcement, with smoke shops and other stores selling a range of unregulated hemp-based products.
In November, the task force delivered a report recommending that businesses which sell delta-8 products apply for permits. Any business that fails to do so will have civil penalties imposed for flouting the rules.
The report also highlighted that inhaled and edible hemp products which were consumed, such as cannabis products, and sold without restriction were dangerous to individuals in the state, particularly children. In their recommendation, the task force concluded that ensuring that operating businesses had retail permits would help limit occurrence of marijuana-related pop-up shops.
While the report didn’t get into how hefty the fines imposed for businesses that violated the rules needed to be, the task force did emphasize that existing penalties weren’t weighty enough to ensure compliance. The report also recommends that an overhaul of how Virginia regulated all types of marijuana be conducted, suggesting that a strategy that was more coordinated be implemented. This would eliminate the need to have the responsibility be split among various agencies.
In addition to this, the task force also suggested that the total THC concentration of products be measured to determine their legality. This is mainly because most of the state’s marijuana laws are based on delta-9 THC measurements. The report explains that measuring total THC would also allow the state to distinguish between how it treated non-intoxicating vs. intoxicating products.
Furthermore, the task force also highlighted the need to implement stricter packaging rules in an effort to prevent minors from accidentally ingesting high THC doses. Attorney General Jason Miyares had warned earlier that the state would eliminate THC products packaged in a way that mimicked popular snack and candy brands.
These tighter regulations targeting products that were previously unregulated is likely to give the clients of companies such as REZYFi Inc. a more level playing field where all players abide by the same rules.
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