U.S. Hemp Roundtable States Opposition to “Legal” Hemp-Derived THC

The U.S. Hemp Roundtable has released a statement against the marketing of products for their intoxicating or euphoric effects under the guise of hemp, which has made headlines in New York Times and Rolling Stone.

The Times pointed to Hometown Hero CBD, a company based in Austin, Texas, which sells joints, blunts, gummy bears, and more that can get people high—they contain Delta-8-THC, which can be extracted from hemp. Delta-9-THC is explicitly outlawed under federal law, the Times explains, but Delta-8-THC from hemp is not, allowing companies to market drug products as hemp, legally.

Rolling Stone explains that Delta-8 isn’t as psychoactive as Delta-9, offering a high that is “less sedative and more functional than Delta-9.”

However, while Delta-8-THC is technically legal when derived from hemp, Joseph Hoelscher, Founding Member of the Texas Association of Cannabis Lawyers, told Rolling Stone that “the process most commonly used to produce Delta-8—synthetically altering CBD into Delta-8-THC—probably isn’t legal.” Delta-8 only exists in tiny amounts in hemp, so it is far more cost-effective to alter CBD in a process that is, in fact, federally banned.

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The Hemp Roundtable is categorically against this, according to their statement. “Unlike marijuana, hemp is, by definition, not intoxicating,” the statement says. “Rather hemp products like CBD are popularly used by consumers to benefit their general health and wellness, not to get them high. Adult-use cannabis products, which feature concentrated THC and are intended for intoxication, should not be marketed as dietary supplements, and should be subject to a distinct regulatory pathway. We look forward to working with Congress and federal agencies to develop responsible laws and regulations to provide separate pathways and proper guardrails to distinguish these products.”

A first step, according to the statement: HR 841, which would establish a regulatory pathway for the sale of hemp-derived extracts. “This bill will help stabilize hemp markets, open a promising economic opportunity for U.S. farmers, and protect consumers by requiring hemp extract product manufacturers to comply with the entire existing comprehensive regulatory framework for dietary supplements.”