Delta-8 THC, different ‘eating regimen weed’ merchandise belong in pot dispensaries, says Arizona AG


Arizona hemp stakeholders say an opinion from the state’s Legal professional Normal clarifying the authorized standing of intoxicating hemp merchandise may additionally harm the marketplace for CBD extracts.

In an opinion issued this week, Legal professional Normal Kris Mayes mentioned merchandise containing intoxicating hemp compounds synthetically produced from CBD – typically referred to as “eating regimen weed” – fall underneath guidelines for Schedule 1 managed substances.

As such, they might solely be bought in Arizona’s licensed marijuana dispensaries, Mayes affirmed. Retailers not licensed by the Arizona Division of Well being Companies could not promote “excessive”-producing merchandise containing delta-8 and different compounds, she mentioned.

Such merchandise, bought as options to these containing the extra frequent delta-9 THC that happens in excessive ranges in marijuana, emerged after the 2018 Farm Invoice legalized industrial hemp and its downstream merchandise throughout the U.S.

Delta-8 grey market

Mayes’ opinion was addressed to state Sen. T.J. Shope and state Rep. Steve Montenegro, who requested the legal professional normal’s workplace to look at the problem.

As a result of the 2018 Farm Invoice didn’t account for synthetically produced psychoactive merchandise that may be constructed from hemp-derived CBD, a grey marketplace for delta-8 THC and comparable substances rapidly emerged over the previous few years.

In a complete 13-page evaluation that’s maybe probably the most cogent expression of authorized intent surrounding the 2018 Farm Invoice, CBD and intoxicating hemp to this point, Mayes wrote that Arizona regulation is obvious: “Arizona’s 2018 industrial hemp regulation . . . omitted hemp ‘extracts’ and ‘derivatives’ from the definition of commercial hemp and expressly supplied that the state wished to ‘keep strict management of marijuana,’” based on the Legal professional Normal.

The authorized opinion in Arizona is just the newest in a number of creating chapters as particular person states cope with a weak regulatory and authorized framework for each intoxicating hemp cannabinoids and the CBD from which they’re produced.

Mayes wrote in a footnote to her opinion that her conclusions solely apply to “intoxicating” hemp-based merchandise, and that manufacturing and gross sales of CBD extracts, bought as well being dietary supplements, are exempted from her findings. However stakeholders say they don’t see how the Legal professional Normal can interpret state legal guidelines for CBD and intoxicating hemp compounds in a method that gained’t damage the gross sales of over-the-counter CBD extracts in Arizona.

Mayes additionally flagged security considerations concerning delta-8 merchandise as a consequence of variability in formulations and product labeling, different cannabinoid and terpene content material, and variable THC concentrations. She additionally warned that some producers could use doubtlessly unsafe family chemical compounds to make delta-8 THC.

No endorsement

Whereas Mayes’ opinion places delta-8 and different hemp intoxicants underneath laws for marijuana (delta-9 THC) that could be bought solely in licensed outlets, she mentioned her feedback shouldn’t be construed as an endorsement of such a coverage.

Arizona lawmakers have thought-about laws that will comply with Mayes’ opinion by proscribing the hemp intoxicants to licensed dispensaries. Different proposals thought-about by lawmakers in 2023 would limit gross sales to people underneath 21 years, and restrict efficiency. However no such legal guidelines have been handed.

10th largest market

Gross sales of CBD extracts in Arizona are projected to achieve $758 million in 2024, making it the tenth largest state market within the nation, based on information supplier Statista. Nevertheless, it seems Arizona growers and producers have all however disappeared. Arizona didn’t report any hemp acres in 2022 after recording roughly 790 planted and 210 harvested in 2021, based on the Nationwide Agricultural Statistical Service.

The entire U.S. marketplace for delta-8 THC and different hemp-derived intoxicating cannabinoids has elevated from $200.5 million in gross sales 2020 to almost $2.8 billion in 2023, based on hashish information and analytics agency Brightfield Group.


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