Legislation, News, North America, USA

Texas coalition fights off ban on delta-8 THC as proposed law dies

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A Texas bill that would have outlawed products containing delta-8 THC has died in the legislature after agreement could not be reached on amendments between House and Senate versions of the measure.

A stakeholder group which had campaigned against the ban cheered the death of the legislation, which contained a provision that would have banned hemp-derived delta-8, as a growing number of states around the U.S. have done.

‘Head-on’ fight’

“It turns out we needed a lot of money and key players to make this happen as there were groups fighting to make delta-8 illegal,” said Lukas Gilkey, CEO of Hometown Hero, one of the companies that opposed the ban.

“One hemp advocacy group and one medical marijuana company chose to fight us head-on,” Gilkey said. “Despite being a very young industry, we proved that the delta-8 industry is capable of fighting overreaching and unnecessary cannabis regulation.”

As the bill moved through the legislative process, Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, added the provision banning delta-8. A House conference committee removed that provision before advancing the measure, with the Senate eventually failing to take a vote.

Coalition forces

In addition to Hometown Hero, coalition partners who worked to block the delta-8 ban included: Texas Hemp Federation, Coats Rose Law Firm, Texas Hemp Coalition, Delta Effex, Treetop Hemp Co, Honeyroot, Eighty Six Brand and Pinnacle Hemp.

Delta-8 is a form of THC distinguished from the more common delta-9 THC prevalent in marijuana plants. It is produced by extracting CBD from industrial hemp and then using acetic acid to turn it into THC.

Loggerheads

Producers have argued that the compound is legal under hemp provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp extracts and other hemp products among other fundamental changes that opened up the U.S. hemp market. But regulators have pushed back because the compound is not derived from the hemp plant in a natural manner.

Among states that have instituted delta-8 bans in some form or another are: Colorado, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Oregon, Rhode Island and Utah. Other states are also considering bans.

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