February 7, 2024

Hemp Laws Around the US – The Most Recent Changes and What to Watch

Hemp laws around the US

The most recent changes and the ones we’re going to watch.

So if you are a hemp producer in the United States with products that you want to sell, you know in more than just your home state, keeping up with the constantly changing regulations across the US can be a real headache. And there were a lot of changes at the end of last year. So now we’re watching some happen at the beginning of this year.


Let’s start with Alaska. So at the end of last year, Alaska passed a rule that basically did away with all of its hemp products. The caps and rules were written in a way that all intoxicating hemp products are essentially illegal in Alaska. A group of stakeholders mounted a defense to try and have the ban stayed, and a federal judge at the beginning of this year denied their claim. So Alaska’s new rules stay, and basically no longer is a viable market for most hemp producers. Thumbs down for Alaska.


However, Arkansas had a big win at the end of last year when a US District Court Judge found with a group of stakeholders fighting a ban on delta-8 products, as well as a bunch of other hemp regulations. But the biggest issue that they were trying to fight against was a ban of Delta-8 products. And the US District Court Judge found that the ban was in direct contradiction with the 2018 farm bill. It was arguably the furthest a Judicial official has gone in comparing some of the state regulations that have come up post 2018 Farm Bill. Everybody was very excited about it. As of now, that ruling still stands. Thumbs up for Arkansas.


California is seeing some heat up, not necessarily on the state regulation level but at the lawsuit level where a bunch of cannabis companies have now filed suit against competitors in the D8 space. California does not allow D8 under its regulations for quite a while now, though enforcement is spotty at best. So the cannabis companies took matters into their own hands and have sued the hemp companies for violating state regulations. We’ll wait and see what happens there, but if it’s successful, that’s going to be a very interesting thing to watch moving forward in the ongoing what some have couched as the civil war between regulated cannabis and hemp.


Georgia had a big win at the end of last year. The court of appeals found that the Gwinnett County DA, who was seizing products and generally trying to say that intoxicating hemp products were illegal under state law, was shot down. The court of appeals found that all hemp products that fall under the 2018 Farm Bill are legal under Georgia’s law and therefore they had to stop doing that. Market’s open in Georgia.


Kentucky, at the end of last year, passed sweeping regulations for hemp products from seed to sale. Lots of new regulations when it comes to sourcing, testing, packaging, and labeling limitations and licensing. Now some might argue that it’s too stringent in Kentucky. Others would say it sets a good standard for consumer safety and trust in the larger market for products that are now going to be produced in Kentucky under these rules and regulations. In a lot of ways, it opens up the market if you’re willing to and have the money to comply.


Maryland, unfortunately, has attempted to, like many states we saw at the end of last year, pull the hemp market into their regulated cannabis market. So they would set a cap very low and anything above that would now be in the regulated market and considered cannabis. That enforcement is temporarily suspended. So we’re watching Maryland to see what happens in the coming months as to whether they’re going to issue new regulations or if that stay will be overridden by a higher court.


In Missouri, the state lawmakers are once again threatening to ban all intoxicating hemp products in the state of Missouri. It didn’t work last time. We’ll see if it works this time. They are specifically citing the ongoing issue of people taking products that are labeled one way, they get sick, they have adverse side effects, and they find out that in fact, the label isn’t anywhere close to being accurate. So Missouri is taking the position that instead of regulating intoxicating hemp products, they are just going to ban them outright. We’ll see if Missouri is successful at that.

New York

New York issued sweeping regulation that was at first stayed, and then a final rule was issued that basically circumvented the court’s stay on those regulations and seems as though they will stick adding in low caps, a very high CBD to THC ratio for hemp products and all sorts of regulation in terms of packaging labeling and licensing for hemp products that now are going to be sold in New York. Thumbs down for New York.

South Carolina

South Carolina has pending regulations that may regulate hemp products including Delta 8. This would be a policy shift in the state of South Carolina. Historically, South Carolina has had the position that all synthetic cannabinoids are illegal and not authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill and therefore not authorized by South Carolina’s version of the 2018 Farm Bill. This new legislation moves away from a ban and more towards the embracing all hemp products but setting standards and caps that they feel are responsible to allow the products to exist in the market in a way that provides consumer safety.


Tennessee has new rules approved by the law by Tennessee lawmakers that made the Tennessee Department of Agriculture responsible for regulating both the hemp and the marijuana industries in Tennessee. They issued new regulations for the hemp industry which is going to take Tennessee from adding some milligram caps, set new standards for THC and CBD flour. There’s also rumors that it’s going to take Tennessee from a Delta 9 THC state to a total THC state. So keep in mind that may mean lots of products are no longer viable in the state of Tennessee. The laws that exist right now do add a specific sales tax for these products. So if you are selling products in the state of Tennessee you have new taxes to pay.


Virginia at the end of last year basically completely ruined their hemp industry and set caps and regulations so low that the entire hemp industry has almost folded. Major thumbs down for Virginia.


Last but not least, Ohio is now got some law moving through. It’s passed the Senate. It’s now sitting in the house has the support of the governor. There’s you know sort of an up in the air as to whether or not it’s going to get through the house that would like Maryland like Vermont, New Hampshire, and several Connecticut, Minnesota, would take the hemp market out of general public and move it into regulated cannabis market so they would set very low caps where hemp products that would remain in mainstream markets would be almost necessarily non-intoxicating hemp products and everything what we would consider intoxicating hemp products would have to be sold in dispensaries and through regulated retailers. We’ll wait and see whether or not Ohio is successful in pushing that through and what that means for Ohio moving forward.


We anticipate more changes in 2024 as the year goes on. If you want to stay up to date on regulatory changes and not have to keep all this in your head and not have to track it all the time, we’re happy to do that for you in our monthly newsletter. We list the latest changes that have occurred in the last month and what we’re watching in the upcoming months. So subscribe to our newsletter and you’ll get those right in your inbox and so much more.

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