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In Virginia, CBD age restrictions resurface in the state’s budget



Hemp advocates in Virginia are pushing back against a proposed budget measure they say would restrict sales of CBD to ages 21 and up, reports Hemp Today.

The budget bill is before Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin now. And according to state and national hemp associations, if the governor doesn’t amend part of the bill before signing it, full-spectrum CBD and other non-intoxicating cannabinoids will be subject to the same age restrictions as alcohol and tobacco.


“[The budget] would limit any hemp extract, food with hemp extract, or ingestible or inhalable substances, with any amount of THC, to persons 21 or older,” the U.S. Hemp Roundtable wrote. “Age restrictions such as this send an inaccurate and inappropriate message to consumers: that these non-intoxicating health and wellness products are dangerous or should be associated with a vice of some sort.”


“Age restrictions such as this send an inaccurate and inappropriate message to consumers: that these non-intoxicating health and wellness products are dangerous or should be associated with a vice of some sort.”

— U.S. Hemp Roundtable


In addition to concerns about the policy impacts of the bill, the Virginia Hemp Coalition (VHC) expressed disapproval that proposals rejected by the state legislature were resurfacing unexpectedly as part of the budget.

"The budget bill is supposed to be used for the budget …,” the VHC said June 1 on Facebook. “The way in which this was done is unacceptable. Adding this type of language to the omnibus budget bill is not the way legislation with criminal penalties and regulations should get signed into law.”


The budget bill also proposes recriminalizing delta-9 cannabis by making public possession of 4 to 16 ounces a misdemeanor, according to The Center Square. Under current law, public possession between 1 and 16 ounces is only a civil penalty.


“The way in which this was done is unacceptable. Adding this type of language to the omnibus budget bill is not the way legislation with criminal penalties and regulations should get signed into law.”

— Virginia Hemp Coalition


The VHC said it supports age restrictions for intoxicating cannabis, including hemp-derived THC isomers like delta-8. However, the organization wrote in a June 2 Facebook post, “this bill goes way too far by including anything with even a trace amount of THC — which all natural hemp products will have.”


The bill includes safety measures for hemp extracts that are widely considered necessary and not controversial: product testing requirements, standards for labeling and ensuring packages don’t appeal to children, according to Hemp Today.

However, JM Pedini, executive director of the Virginia chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) told Hemp Today the proposed THC regulations are restrictive without fully addressing consumer safety.


According to Pedini, the budget bill’s proposed safety measures require only basic testing and labeling standards for otherwise unregulated products, leaving loopholes that allow synthetic cannabis and high-THC products to remain outside the regulatory regime of legal cannabis products.

“Rather than creating additional ways to criminalize Virginians for personal possession of cannabis, the Virginia General Assembly would better serve constituents by establishing a legal adult-use marijuana market and ensuring that all cannabis products sold in the Commonwealth are accurately labeled and regulated for consumer safety,” Pedini said.


As for the age restrictions on CBD, the Virginia Hemp Coalition is hoping citizen input can change the governor’s mind. June 2 on social media the organization encouraged supporters to reach out to Gov. Youngkin as well as the secretary of agriculture and secretary of commerce, asking them to amend that section of the budget.

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