If you’re one of the many people in West Virginia who have turned to Delta 8 THC as a legal alternative to marijuana, you may soon have to find another solution. More and more states are moving to ban Delta 8 products, most recently Louisiana and Kentucky. Now West Virginia is doing the same. Lawmakers have proposed a bill that would ban Delta 8 from being sold and used. This has sparked debate between supporters who say the bill is necessary to protect public health, and opposers who argue that the legislation goes too far. We’ll take a closer look at the proposed Delta 8 ban in West Virginia, its potential impact on consumers and businesses alike, and what it could mean for the future of cannabinoid policy across the United States.
What is Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 is a compound that naturally occurs in small quantities in hemp and cannabis plants. It is psychoactive, inducing relaxing, euphoric effects and can provide benefits like relief from pain, anxiety, and inflammation. Delta 8 is less potent, but more stable than standard THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Delta 8 THC is commonly extracted from hemp to make edibles, oils, and even concentrates (dabs). Delta 8 gained widespread popularity after the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, inadvertently legalizing this cannabinoid along with others like Delta 10, Delta 11, and HHC.
Related Article: "The 2023 Farm Bill & Hemp: 7 Things To Know"
Safety Concerns Behind Delta 8 Bills
Cannabinoids like Delta 8 have continued gaining popularity since the 2018 Farm Bill was passed. In the years that followed it, there’s been growing safety concerns regarding Delta 8 products. Some of the concerns that have been brought up are that the products could:
- contain contaminants
- be inaccurately labeled
- contain higher amounts of THC than the legal limit
- be marketing in ways that could be appealing to children
While there have been questionable companies who have shown negligence in the production of their products, they’re overshadowed by the multitude of brands who take their customers’ safety seriously. 3rd party testing and public lab results are just a couple of measures that reputable brands in the hemp industry take to ensure that people can safely enjoy the products’ benefits. Those against the bill argue that regulations should be implemented to address the concerns mentioned above.
Related Article: "Is Delta 8 Legal In Your State? Ultimate Guide"
West Virginia Proposed Bill To Ban Delta 8
While federally legal, alternative cannabinoids have prompted polarizing sentiments nationwide, with more states banning the compounds, the latest being West Virginia. If passed, the bill in question (Senate Bill (SB) 546) would classify Delta 8 products as Schedule I substances, alongside substances like opiates, methamphetamine and psychedelics like LSD. Senator Mike Stuart (R-Kanawha) proposed it, as he believes the bill “will immediately protect our children and deal with what many call ‘the next opiate crisis’.”
With the growing amount of research, showing the potential benefits of these cannabinoids, it’s safe to say his statement is an alarming reach. The West Virginia State Senate unanimously voted to ban those products on March 1st. After being passed, the bill was then introduced in the State House of Delegates on March 2nd. According to WV Public, the bill aims to add “dozens dozens of substances to the state code”, with the committee’s discussion focusing on Delta 8, Delta 10, and Kratom.
How This Could Affect You
According to Stuart, “THC is the stuff that gets you high. My bill simply deals with those substances that get you high. There’s no medical purpose for any of these except to get you high.” Cannabinoid research suggests otherwise. Many people, including patients, use alternative cannabinoids to get relief from pain, inflammation, and insomnia. If this bill is implemented, West Virginia would be the 16th state to outlaw Delta 8, barring its residents from reaping the benefits cannabinoids like Delta 8 can provide. This bill could also affect other hemp-derived compounds such as CBD, a substance that is well known for being non-psychoactive. In other words, it doesn’t get you high, but provides various benefits.
Jordan Douglas owns Blue Ridge Extractions, a veteran-owned company in West Virginia geared towards CBD extractions. As he puts it,“these products are marketed as, in a way for, you know, as candy for people to enjoy – that doesn’t mean that we want children taking our products. I feel it would be more responsible for Senators in the state to work with us to try, and not do an outright ban… But maybe work together for a compromise where we work together to have more regulations in the industry.”
According to Douglas, If the bill passes, thousands of workers will lose their jobs. Additionally, 10,000 customers will no longer have access to products that help them find relief. Douglas is just one example of the rippling effects this ban would have on businesses and customers state-wide.
UPDATE ON SB 546
Sometime last week, Governor Jim Justice signed Senate Bill (SB) 546. This bill will go into effect on June 8, making Delta 8 and other THC isomers Schedule 1 controlled substances.
Where To Find High Quality Delta 8 Near You
Amidst the rapid shifts developing in the hemp industry, it can be hard to keep up with trusted, reliable, high-quality Delta 8 products like disposable vapes, vape cartridges, edibles, prerolls, and more. If you’re a Delta 8 enthusiast in a legal state, you can now find Delta 8 near you with ease. How? With this store locator, you can locate a shop that sells our products close to you.
If passed, Senate Bill 546 will put thousands out of jobs, and prevent thousands of consumers from finding relief from cannabinoid products. Those who are against this West Virginia bill argue that what the hemp industry needs are reasonable regulations, not bans. What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Stay safe and stay mellow.We are proud to be featured on Leafly.
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