The Current State of the Hemp Industry in 2023
The war for intoxicating hemp products rages on. We’ve had a big win in Georgia, disappointment in Virginia, and there’s a new battle raging in Alaska.
Hey, I’m Morgan Davis, a cannabis attorney in Raleigh, North Carolina. Let’s talk about how to keep your business protected and thriving in this challenging landscape.
2023 Challenges in the Hemp Industry
2023 has been a rough year for the hemp industry. It’s seen a lot of changes, a lot of ups and downs, bans, significant regulatory overhauls, adoptions into the regulated market, and everything in between. Having a national brand in the hemp industry right now has never been harder, and the last couple of weeks don’t point to it getting any easier.
The Big Win in Georgia
Georgia had a significant win in 2022 when Gwinnett County DA decided to target Delta 8 and Delta 10 products. They conducted a big raid on a distributor, Elements Distribution, seizing products and cash. A year later, the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the hemp industry, stating that derivatives of hemp falling under the 0.3% Delta 9 THC limit, including Delta 8 and Delta 10, are legal. This is a significant win for Distributors and retailers in Georgia and sets a precedent for hemp legality.
Disappointment in Virginia
Virginia, on the other hand, delivered disappointment in July by essentially shutting down its hemp market for products with THC levels above a certain limit. Many stakeholders sued the government, claiming that Virginia’s law violated federal law and lacked sufficient justification for the ban. However, a federal judge recently ruled against these arguments, indicating that Delta 8 and other intoxicating hemp products are perceived as a danger to the Virginia population. This ruling puts a damper on the hopes of the Virginia hemp industry.
A New Battle in Alaska
In Alaska, a new battle has emerged. After November 3rd, the state began banning products containing Delta 8 THC, Delta 9 THC, or any other THC, including full-spectrum CBD hemp products, outside of the dispensary model. Several Alaska-based companies have filed a lawsuit to challenge this program, similar to cases in Virginia, Arkansas, Georgia, and Maryland. They argue that these measures could harm businesses without due process and potentially support cannabis monopolies.
Keep an eye on these developments if you’re a stakeholder trying to sell hemp products in any of these states. The situation is dynamic, and we’ll provide updates as they occur. Stay tuned for more insights into the evolving hemp industry.