A federal judge in Northern Virginia has rejected an attempt to block a newly enacted Virginia state law that imposed tighter restrictions on intoxicating hemp products. U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema denied the plaintiff’s request for an injunction against the law, asserting that the state had demonstrated a credible threat posed by delta-8 THC.
According to the judge’s opinion, the state of Virginia is acting in the interest of public safety, emphasizing the need to protect its citizens, particularly vulnerable populations such as children, from potential hospitalizations and poisonings related to delta-8 THC. Judge Brinkema stated, “…there is a strong public interest in protecting the citizens of the commonwealth from substances like delta-8.”
The plaintiffs, including Virginia-based hemp businesses, argued that Virginia’s regulations overstepped state authority and contradicted federal law, as well as interfering with interstate commerce. However, the judge disagreed, emphasizing that federal hemp laws do not require hemp-derived substances to be legal in every state and that the presence of industrial hemp in a product does not mandate its legalization.
As a result of this decision, Virginia’s stricter hemp regulations will remain in place while the lawsuit proceeds. Stay updated on this and more by subscribing to daily cannabis business news from NECANN.