In a report published, the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (CCA) shed light on the surge in popularity of consumable hemp products in the state, attributing it to accessibility and the potential for intoxicating effects akin to those of marijuana. The report highlights significant public health risks, including minors’ easy access, the potential for unintentional consumption due to similarities with non-intoxicating goods, and the risk of contamination by solvents, microbials, and pesticides.
The CCA recommended several measures for lawmakers to consider, including robust contaminant testing requirements, ingredient limits with a pre-approval process, restrictions on minors’ access both in retail and online, and additional limitations on online sales.
While noting the legal status of these products under federal law, the report emphasizes the urgency of addressing these issues in the 2023 Farm Bill. However, the CCA acknowledges that significant action on the bill is more likely to occur in 2024 due to competing legislative priorities in Congress. The report concludes with a call for prompt Congressional action to address the gaps left by the 2018 Farm Bill, emphasizing the need to empower states to regulate hemp-derived products effectively.
As of now, no concrete action on the farm bill has taken place, leaving the door open for continued challenges by hemp-derived product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers against state-level restrictions without federal intervention.