On the Horizon for Hemp: Pending State Regulatory Revisions and Open Comment Periods

By Casey Leaver

May 13, 2024

In the wake of changing laws and mandates for state agencies to regulate certain components of hemp licensing and production, there are a few states on the move with proposed rules and regulations available for review or anticipated shortly. Read on for a quick overview of the latest hemp-related regulatory developments in Kentucky, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.


On April 25, 2024, Kentucky’s Department of Public Health filed new emergency hemp regulations, titled 902 KAR 45:001E. Copies of these regulations are not currently available on the Kentucky Administrative Regulations website, but you can reach out to Vicente’s hemp team for a copy. The regulations are intended to replace and are almost entirely identical in substance to regulations under 902 KAR 45:190E, which have now expired. One notable difference in the new regulations pertains to setbacks: A retailer offering Adult-Use Cannabinoid Products may not be located within 1,000 feet of an elementary, middle, or high school, unless that retailer registered with the Department of Public Health prior to April 27, 2024.

A public hearing on the emergency regulations will be held virtually on June 24, 2024, at 9 a.m. Individuals interested in attending this virtual hearing must send their intent to attend to the Kentucky Office of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs via email by June 17, 2024. Any person who attends virtually will be given an opportunity to comment on the proposed administrative regulation. If you do not wish to be heard at the public hearing, you may submit written comments until June 30, 2024.


The Oregon Department of Agriculture’s public comment period on its proposed rules updating the Hemp Program closed on May 10, 2024. The proposed rules include the following: a required vendor license for storage, transfer, or sale of hemp or hemp items for resale to another person, including to other vendors, wholesalers, or consumers. 

Rhode Island

The Department of Business Regulation is proposing the following hemp-related rules, among other things:

  • To specify that the definition of “consumable” includes by means of inhalation, oral intake, or skin absorption
  • To strictly prohibit any conversion of cannabidiol or any other cannabinoid to Delta-9 THC or any derivative form of THC or any other synthetically created cannabinoid by any licensee and/or the subsequent sale of such synthetic cannabinoids unless an approved variance for such a process and/or sale is approved and issued by DBR
  • To set a milligram limit of no more than 1 mg of THC per serving and/or contain more than three mgs of THC per package


On April 1 and April 15, 2024, proposed rules were published that would repeal Utah’s existing hemp regulations so that they can be reenacted under a new title specific to medical cannabis and industrial hemp, Title R66. No substantive changes to the regulations are proposed. However, the April 15 proposed rule does make a slight change to allow tiny amounts of THC O Acetate (THC-OAc) to be present in samples without them failing quality assurance testing. This clarification is needed to allow safe products to stay in the market despite the unintentional presence of a small amount of artificially derived cannabinoids. The law requires that an agency accept public comment on proposed rules until at least May 15, 2024, for the second of the published proposed rules.


Effective at a future date, anyone selling at retail a hemp product intended for smoking or an edible hemp product must have a Regulated Hemp Product Retail Facility Registration from the Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Servces (VDACS). The new hemp product requirements in the Industrial Hemp Law will become effective when VDACS’s Commissioner provides notice to the Virginia Code Commission that VDACS has established the retail registration process necessary to implement these requirements. The establishment of this program is dependent upon multiple factors, including the agency’s ability to hire new staff and develop the systems needed for the efficient operation of this program. At this time, VDACS is not able to estimate when this program will be established.

Additionally, on April 5, 2024, House Bill 947 passed into law. Under that law, municipalities may now limit the retail sale of hemp products intended for smoking within 1,000 linear feet of a child day center or a public, private, or parochial school.


Rulemaking regarding amendments to the rules (WAC 314-55) as necessary to implement the provisions of an engrossed second substitute bill 5367 concerning the regulation of products containing THC is ongoing. The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) held Workshop #2, 3, and 4 regarding E2SSB 5367 (THC Bill) Implementation. As a reminder, this bill classifies any product with any amount of THC as a cannabis product and places it under the regulatory control of the WSLCB. A breakdown of the recent meetings, including draft rules, can be found below.

  • Workshop #2 reviewed the proposed changes for Cannabis Servings and Transaction Limits (WAC 314-55-095) and Cannabis Warning Symbol Requirement (WAC 314-55-106)
  • Workshop #3 focused on packaging and labeling (WAC 314-55-105)
  • Workshop #4 was regarding Quality Control and Testing (WAC 314-55-102) and Cannabinoid Additives (WAC 314-55-109)

A full schedule of workshops related to WAC 314-55 implementation can be found here.

Contact our Hemp Team if you have questions about any of the rules. We are also available to assist you with preparing and submitting a public comment.

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