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Vicente LLP Hemp Update: February 2024

Feb 20, 2024

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**New Hemp & Cannabinoid Compliance Guide Chart!**

Hemp Cannabinoid Legality Guide: Your 50-State Roadmap to the Ever-Changing Legal Landscape of Hemp Cannabinoids

The new Hemp Cannabinoid Legality Guide is a more detailed guide that replaces our previous Intoxicating and Synthetic Cannabinoid Compliance Guide.

This new chart is a state-by-state chart providing an overview and detailed explanation of the legality of hemp-derived cannabinoids (Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, CBN, HHC), representative of the four main cannabinoid groups (natural, synthetic, semi-synthetic intoxicating, semi-synthetic non-intoxicating). This chart identifies in both “yes/no/silent” format and, in detail, product type cannabinoid limits (such as ratio or limits per serving or per container), and age restrictions. This guide also categorizes states according to a color-coded matrix.  

Schedule a free consultation with us if you're interested in learning more about this new offer.


Federal Updates

Federally Funded Researchers Discover Two New Methods Of Distinguishing Hemp And Marijuana To Assist Crime Labs

Two new methods have been developed to distinguish between hemp and marijuana, which will aid crime labs. Hemp was legalized federally in 2018, but it can be difficult to tell the difference from marijuana, which is still illegal. The National Institute of Justice has awarded a $350,000 grant to the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop these methods. The new methods will be evaluated by the Maryland State Police and Montgomery County Police Department crime labs. 

Advocates Celebrate Inclusion of Hemp in USDA’s Census of Agriculture

The 2022 USDA Census of Agriculture including hemp as a separate category is cause for celebration in the industry. This move provides crucial data on acreage, production, and value, previously hidden under "other crops." More than just accurate stats, it validates hemp as a legitimate agricultural product with a booming economic impact, exceeding $28 billion annually. This recognition is expected to pave the way for clearer regulations and wider acceptance. Read more on MJBizDaily.

State Agriculture Departments Across U.S. Push Congress To Triple The THC Limit For Hemp As 2024 Priority

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) is urging Congress to raise the legal THC limit for hemp from 0.3% to 1% as part of their 2024 Farm Bill priorities. They argue that this would allow farmers to plant more varieties and have greater assurance that their crops won't go to waste if THC levels exceed the current limit. Read more on Marijuana Moment.


State Updates

California Reintroduces Legislation to Integrate Hemp into the Cannabis Supply Chain 

AB-223, the bill that would integrate hemp into the cannabis supply chain was reintroduced this month. AB-223 aims to make significant changes to California’s hemp and cannabis regulatory frameworks. Below are a few highlights of the current version of the bill. If passed, the legislation would: 

  • Allow licensed cannabis manufacturers to obtain hemp from a CDPH registrant
  • Allow cannabis licensees to manufacture, distribute, and sell hemp products and cannabis products containing hemp
  • Allow the sale of inhalable hemp products 
  • Remove the shelf-stable requirement for hemp products
  • Prohibit “synthetically derived cannabinoids,” defined as “a substance that is derived from a chemical reaction that changes the molecular structure of any substance separated or extracted from the plant Cannabis sativa L.” 

Florida Legislation Proposes New Hemp Product Restrictions

Florida bill HB 1613 and its companion bill, SB 1698 would impose significant restrictions on the sale of hemp products in the state. The legislation would prohibit set THC limits on hemp extract sold at retail to 0.3% delta-9 on a wet weight basis or 2 milligrams per serving and 10 milligrams per container on a wet-weight basis (whichever is less) and prohibit natural and synthetic versions of cannabinoids such as delta-8, delta-10, HHC, THC-O, THC-P, and THCV . The bill would also require products to bear a label with the phone number of the national Poison Control help line. HB 1613 is advancing through the House with one more committee vote needed before passage. A second reading of the Senate version, SB 1698 took place on February 14. 

Minnesota Regulators to Address THCa Sales

Minnesota's Office of Cannabis Management seeks legislation to regulate THCA flower sales, addressing gaps in regulatory authority between the Department of Agriculture and the Office of Cannabis Management.

Missouri Lawmakers Aim to Restrict Sales of Hemp Products Deemed Intoxicating 

SB 984 would regulate “intoxicating cannabinoids” by providing that any cannabinoid – whether natural, semi-synthetic, or synthetic – that has an “intoxicating effect” would be deemed marijuana and subject to Missouri’s laws governing the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of marijuana. 

South Carolina Notice to Stakeholders Reiterates its Policy on Hemp Ingredients in Food and Beverages 

The South Carolina Department of Health issued a January 22, 2024, notice reiterating that only full spectrum whole plant extract can be used as an ingredient in a food or beverage (the notice does not mention dietary supplements). This means CBD isolate, delta-8, delta-9, delta-10, THC-O and any other hemp derivative cannot be added to a food or beverage. The notice also adds certain packaging and labeling requirements that do not appear in the state’s regulations. See the notice for details. 

Tennessee Proposed Regulations Impose THC caps and Other Requirements for Hemp Products 

Lawmakers approved regulations in December 2023 that, if finalized, would set a maximum limit on flower of 0.3% total THC (THCA is multiplied by 0.877 under the formula set forth by the USDA for the testing and determination of “Total THC” in a pre-harvest analytical test). The proposed regulations also include requirements for packaging, labeling, testing, and licensing for retail sales. 


International Updates

Japan Bans HHCH Gummies After Health Concerns

Japan recently designated hexahydrocannabihexol (HHCH) a controlled substance, marking a significant crackdown on hemp products containing the cannabinoid. Japan's strict prohibition on THC has led to the popularity of synthetic and semi-synthetic cannabinoids due in part to a legal loophole allowing cannabis extracts that do not contain THC. The ban follows public health concerns after several people were hospitalized after consuming HHCH gummies. While the prohibition targets HHCH specifically, other synthetic compounds remain available.


Events

March 22 | NECANN Boston 

Vicente partner Michelle Bodian will be featured in NECANN Boston’s speaker lineup on Friday, March 22, 2024. Michelle will participate on a panel titled, “Blink and You’ll Miss It! The Evolution of Hemp Cannabinoids.” Don’t forget to stop by our booth #922 during the conference! Click here to register. 

April 11-13 | NoCo Hemp Expo 

Vicente partner Michelle Bodian is slated to speak at the 10th Annual NoCo Hemp Expo taking place April 11-13, 2024, in Estes Park, Colorado. Michelle will provide a comprehensive overview of the evolving rules for intoxicating hemp products and more! Join us and use promo code 10offnoco10 for a 10% discount off all ticket levels available at www.nocohempexpo.com.  


Contact our Hemp Team

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