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Colorado lawmakers clear path for health department to end sales of delta-8 THC



Colorado lawmakers have passed a bill giving the state’s Department of Public Health & Environment authority to create regulations barring the sale of hemp-derived THC isomers including delta-8, reports the U.S. Hemp Roundtable.


The legislation — SB22-205, which has been sent to Governor Jared Polis for his signature — also gives the state’s attorney general the authority and extra funding to take enforcement action against intoxicating hemp products.


Lastly, the legislation creates a task force to study the issue of intoxicating compounds and make recommendations for laws and rules to govern them. According to the Roundtable, the task force is meant to represent all viewpoints as recommendations are developed. It will include:

  • regulators

  • manufacturers

  • refiners

  • retailers

  • testing labs

  • nonprofit organizations

  • adult-use consumers


CBD Protected, Hemp-Derived THC Not

The U.S. Hemp Roundtable said the bill’s passage represented progress in terms of cooperation between the hemp and delta-9 cannabis industries.


“We are grateful to the Governor, his staff, and legislative leaders who listened to the hemp industry’s concerns and helped transform a flawed bill into one that will address our mutual concerns,” the Roundtable wrote on May 13. “[…] What happened in Colorado may even prove the model for how to thoughtfully and appropriately tackle intoxicating cannabinoids masquerading as hemp in the remainder of the states.”


“What happened in Colorado may even prove the model for how to thoughtfully and appropriately tackle intoxicating cannabinoids masquerading as hemp in the remainder of the states.”

— U.S. Hemp Roundtable


The Roundtable had come out against the original version of the bill, saying it would criminalize non-intoxicating hemp products like CBD and could spur “a mass exodus of legitimate hemp businesses from Colorado.”


The Roundtable agreed with those in the delta-9 cannabis industry saying modified cannabinoids like delta-8 THC (which is CBD converted into THC) need greater regulation, but seemed to support such regulations as an alternative to an all-out ban.


However, after the removal of a THC limit for hemp products that would have affected full-spectrum CBD, and with the addition of the task force, the Roundtable was satisfied with the amended bill. The bill went on to pass May 11, the final day of the legislative session.


Details of the Bill

The bill passed with bipartisan support, including that of its prime sponsors, Senate President Stephen Fenberg (D), Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert (R), and House Reps Alex Valdez (D) and Kevin Van Winkle (R).

The language added giving the Department of Public Health & Environment authority to prohibit hemp-derived THC says, “the department may promulgate rules to prohibit, within final product made available for sale, the chemical modification, conversion, or synthetic derivation of intoxicating tetrahydrocannabinol isomers, including delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10, or other intoxicating tetrahydrocannabinol isomers that originate from industrial hemp or may be synthetically derived.”


The bill allots $587,347 to the department of law to implement the act.

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