After earlier proposals to block the sale of hemp-derived THC products stalled, Washington lawmakers are now considering a new bill that would prohibit these products from being sold both outside and within the state’s legal cannabis industry.
Sens. Karen Keiser and Mark Schoesler introduced Senate Bill 5983 Feb. 25 to ban hemp-derived THC, which has become popular in several states following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized the production and sale of industrial hemp.
“These are being sold right now, without any regulation, without any oversight,” Keiser told the news outlet. “It’s a public health danger and a threat, and it needs to be removed.”
An alternative bill to ban all synthetic cannabinoids outside of Washington’s regulated cannabis market was also introduced last week in the House, AP News reported. That legislation would create a scientific panel to recommend ways for others to legally produce and sell synthetic cannabinoids in the future, according to the news outlet.
Last year, The Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) banned synthetically derived THC products in the state’s regulated cannabis market, according to AP News, out of concern that licensed, regulated cannabis cultivators could not compete with synthetic THC produced from out-of-state hemp.
The LCB has the authority to also block stores outside Washington’s regulated cannabis market from selling other hemp-derived cannabinoids, the news outlet reported.
“It is our best, and perhaps only, chance this year to get the laws necessary to regulate the burgeoning world of novel and minor cannabinoids,” LCB Chairman David Postman told AP News.
At least 17 other states have banned synthetic cannabinoids during the past year, the news outlet reported, and hemp industry groups have asked Congress to clarify federal law on the matter.
Washington’s legislative session ends March 10.