And restricting CBD to 21+.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin on April 11 proposed changes to a bill that would end sales of delta-8 THC in the state. The governor also proposed restricting sales of CBD to adults 21 and up.
Because the governor made changes to the bill, it must return to the Senate and House for another round of votes, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
If approved, hemp retailers, smoke shops and convenience stores must stop selling hemp-derived THC by October 1.
“Delta-8 is, in fact, basically marijuana, and marijuana is prohibited from being sold right now,” Youngkin told the Norfolk-based TV station WTKR.
“Delta-8 is, in fact, basically marijuana, and marijuana is prohibited from being sold right now.”
— Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin
Details of the Bill
The bill, SB 591, modifies the definitions of “marijuana" and “tetrahydrocannabinol” include any kind of THC, not just delta-9. A previous version of the bill would have allowed delta-8 to be sold in the future, when all THC sales are legal.
But the governor’s amendment explicitly prohibits sales of delta-8.
Here’s the added language under “Prohibited practices:”
67. (i) Selling or offering for sale at retail any substance intended for human consumption, including an industrial hemp extract, as defined in § 3.2-5145.1, a food containing an industrial hemp extract, or a hemp product intended for smoking, that (a) has a total tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that exceeds 0.3 percent or (b) contains synthetic delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol or (ii) selling or offering for sale to a person younger than 21 years of age any substance, including an industrial hemp extract, as defined in § 3.2-5145.1, a food containing an industrial hemp extract, or a hemp product intended for smoking, that contains tetrahydrocannabinol.
(Why "synthetic?" While delta-8 THC occurs naturally in cannabis plants, it’s in trace amounts. The products on shelves are made by extracting CBD and converting it to THC via chemical conversion.)
Although recreational adult-use cannabis sales are on the horizon in Virginia, the bill in its current form would exclude delta-8 THC from that marketplace.
The bill also:
• Bans the sale of hemp edibles in the shape of animals, fruits or people
• Restricts the sale of smokable hemp and CBD to adults 21 and up
“There is a long list of things this bill does that will hurt the legitimate hemp industry.”
— Virginia Hemp Coalition
Hemp Industry Criticizes CBD Restrictions
A previous version of the bill would have seemingly inadvertently banned CBD and other non-psychotropic cannabinoids by putting milligram limits on servings. Youngkin changed the bill so that adults 21 and older will still be able to buy CBD products.
But the hemp industry isn’t celebrating.
“This bill is worse than the original terrible bill even though it has removed the ridiculous THC mg limits and created a study group,” the Virginia Hemp Coalition wrote April 12 on Facebook. “There is a long list of things this bill does that will hurt the legitimate hemp industry. Where in the world did criminalizing CBD products to anyone under the age of 21 come from? … The hemp industry and hemp consumers are quite upset with this bill … .”
The Virginia General Assembly will reconvene April 27 to vote on the governor’s proposed amendments. Lawmakers could nullify the governor’s amendments with a two-thirds vote.