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September 20, 2023

Total THC Standards: Let Me Put It To You Bluntly…

So 2023 is coming to a close and the total THC standard for hemp derived products is spreading across the United States.

Let’s talk about how it affects the rest of your 23 and your business plans for 2024.

Hi, I’m Morgan Davis. I’m a cannabis attorney in Raleigh, North Carolina. Let’s talk about how to keep your business protected and thriving. Okay. I have a confession to make. Hmm. I love statutory interpretation. I love statutory interpretation. It is so fun to me to look at all the different statutes and regulations that are passed as across the country, as hemp changes and cannabis changes.

I geek out really, really hard on that stuff. There is a new trend. It’s not new, new, but it’s like last 12 months new and it’s picking up speed. And I just I’m so excited to talk about it. The total THC standard.

Everybody is familiar with the Delta nine, THC standard, right? Delta nine, the cannabinoid that everybody knows, the one that we associated with marijuana forever.

It was the only one that was regulated, really, the only one that was identified for for a long, long time. So now we know there are all these other THC out there, Delta eight, Delta ten, Delta seven, HHC, blah, blah, blah. THC okay, what how are these states all going to regulate all these products? How are they going to continue to respond every time a new THC comes online?

Right. Impossible. Can’t do it because the law way it moves way slower than any industry. But I’m a little bit like I feel like maybe the regulators have gotten a little bit smart because they have come out with a total THC standard. What is the total THC standard? So the total THC standard is one of a couple of different things.

One, the USDA adopted a total THC standard for measuring cultivated and post-harvest hemp U.S. Department of Agriculture. So the hemp that’s growing in the field that you have to harvest before it becomes anything else, that’s what the USDA regulates. So if you are under a USDA hemp program or you are a lot of states who have who have USDA approved programs also have the standard now for their cultivated or growing hemp that includes North Carolina, your hemp, while growing and post-harvest, must test under a total THC standard, meaning they take the Delta nine, THC and the THC A concentration times 0.8777 to create a total THC analysis of what is in the plant.

And that has to be point 3% or less. Why does that matter?

Because THC, if you’ve been paying attention, is the precursor for Delta nine. So when it degrades, it becomes Delta nine.

So that’s why they consider both, because if you just consider the Delta nine and there’s some THC in there, which there’s always going to be when it degrades into Delta nine, this number is going to increase naturally.

That’s how the plant works. All right. So that’s total THC classic. That’s what we’re going to call that, the total THC classic standard as originated with USDA, four states trying to target G9 and THC products. This is a good standard or for states who are trying to mirror the USDA, this is the standard they choose. Now, let’s say you want to do more than that.

You don’t just want to go after the Delta nine products and the THC products. You also want to go after the Delta eight and the seeds and the seeds and the and the, you know, all those stuff, right? Then you adopt what’s called what I call my version, intoxicating. Total THC standard, where the aggregate of any intoxicating cannabinoid content must be under must be at or under point 3%.

All right. So that means any intoxicating cannabinoid. Now, generally, they’re going to define that. A lot of them are going to say Delta nine, Delta eight, Delta ten, GGP. You know, the ones we know of, some of them will then have a most of them will then have a sort of catchall which has and any cannabinoid that has an intoxicating effect or something to that in something in that one.

What does that mean? That means for anything there has to be a total THC concentration of point three or less of any of the intoxicating cannabinoids. So it captures a lot more of the intoxicating products than a classic total THC standard. So intoxicating. Total THC standard goes after all the intoxicating products. Now we have total THC plus is what I’m calling it.

North Carolina in HB 563 has proposed a total THC standard, which not only includes the aggregate of all intoxicating cannabinoids, but it’s the aggregate of all intoxicating cannabinoids plus any other cannabinoid.

So it’s your delta nine, your THC, your CBD, your CBN, your CBD, and on and on and on. All of those together have to come under 0.3% or less.

That’s crazy. That is a tough standard to comply with in this space, and it’s going to kick a lot of people out of the market if it passes. One of the hottest products on the market right now is THC flower. All right. We’ve talked about this before ever. I mean, cookies like in the past couple of months is has just sold a ton of THC flower and shifted to certain states all over the country.

And everybody’s been up in arms and so excited about it. And they’re like, oh, my God, it’s basically legal weed that’s being shipped in the mail. And they’re not wrong. It is, But it doesn’t. It can’t comply with this. Most vape products can’t comply with this 200 plus milligram gummies. I don’t think that’s they’re most of them are going to comply with this four or five six milligram vapes unlikely to comply hundred milligram delta eight beverages unlikely to comply because there’s it’s very, very rare.

You’re going to have an aggregate aggregate of all of these cannabinoids come in under that limitation.

So what’s going to be the practical effect if something like this passes or something like this becomes popular and gets adopted across the United States, a lot of products are going to have to be recalled and reformulated. And I think a lot of your high, highly intoxicating products that are in market right now don’t survive it.

They already don’t survive an intoxicating total THC standard. So to put it bluntly, my friends, it’s time to pivot. I believe that total THC is growing in popularity because it’s a way to regulate products in all forms of THC without having to name them or anticipate them, or anticipate what the next hot product is going to be. I think more and more states are going to adopt some form of this over the next 12 months, and it doesn’t have to happen in legislation.

It can happen overnight. New York just issued emergency regulations adopting a total THC standard of their own, and it went into effect almost immediately. So as you’re closing out your 2023 and you’re looking to your 2024, you should be factoring this change into your business strategy. David’s legal can help you evaluate where you are and where you want to be.

With this new standard in mind. Give us a call and let’s talk about how to plan for a total THC standard for your business.

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