During a Monday hearing, the Colorado Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee voted 4-0 to pass an amendment to legislation that would regulate intoxicating hemp or THC products sold at unregulated retail stores.
Senate Bill 205, as introduced, would have required the "Marijuana Enforcement Division in the Department of Revenue to come up with rules that set limits for the amounts of THC and intoxicating cannabinoids in adult-use cannabis products, as well as establish procedures for designating and transferring an adult-use cannabis product as a retail marijuana product," The Gazette reported.
Peter Marcus, communications director for Terrapin Care Station, a multi-state cannabis company, stressed the importance of regulating all psychoactive cannabinoids during Monday’s hearing, adding that the measure as introduced would have done exactly that, The Gazette reported.
But many in the hemp industry disagreed, arguing that the legislation as introduced would have hurt hemp farmers and given the state's cannabis industry too much control over the production of intoxicating hemp products, according to the news outlet.
During Monday's hearing, Samantha Walsh, vice chair of the Colorado Hemp Association, said that the legislation would have hurt hemp farmers and disrupted the industry's supply chain, the news outlet reported.
Due to pushback from the hemp industry, one of the bill's co-sponsors, Sen. Steve Fenberg (D), amended the original bill for the Monday hearing, according to The Gazette.
The amended legislation now requires the state's licensing authority to create a task force made up of several officials and stakeholders in the hemp and cannabis industries by Sept. 1, 2022, to "study intoxicating hemp products and make legislative rule recommendations," the amendment states.
Mark Ferrandino, the Colorado Department of Revenue's executive director, said during the hearing that the organization supports the amendments, adding that, "It's important we understand what's happening in the industry, how to regulate what's intoxicating, and making sure non-intoxicating things are not put into the regulatory market."
But the amended measure still received pushback.
Grant Orvis, Pd.D., scientific advisor at Informed CBD Shopper, expressed his concerns during the hearing Monday, explaining that he's worried the amended legislation would still hurt hemp businesses, The Gazette reported. Orvis also said that the bill's other co-sponsor, Sen. Don Coram (R), "had another amendment that would have resolved the problems raised in the Fenberg amendment," but according to The Gazette, Coram did not attend Monday's hearing and the Committee did not review his amendment.
The measure now heads to the Senate Finance Committee for review.