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Missouri considers regulating delta-8 THC products
Missouri Ag Connection - 04/02/2024

Missouri lawmakers are considering legislation to regulate intoxicating hemp products, potentially impacting Delta-8 drinks and edibles. Currently, these hemp-derived products are legal because hemp is federally legal. However, concerns exist about how they are made and sold.

The proposed legislation would place these products under the same regulations as marijuana, requiring age restrictions, labeling and testing, and sales only at licensed dispensaries. This could significantly impact sales, as these products are currently available in gas stations and convenience stores.

Lawmakers are divided on the issue. Some, like Senator Nick Schroer, believe these products should be subject to stricter controls due to potential consumer risks. Others, like Senator Karla May, worry this would shut down existing hemp businesses and create a marijuana industry monopoly.

The Missouri Hemp Trade Association supports regulating the products but wants them under the Department of Public Safety, not the Department of Health and Senior Services which oversees marijuana. They argue hemp shouldn't be lumped in with a controlled substance.

Further complicating the issue is an ongoing legal case involving a marijuana manufacturer using hemp-derived THC concentrate. The outcome could impact the state's authority to regulate hemp products.

Despite the disagreements, there seems to be some common ground. Both sides acknowledge the need for regulations like age restrictions and clear labeling. Finding a solution that protects consumers while preserving the hemp industry remains a challenge. Negotiations are ongoing, and lawmakers are looking at other states' approaches for inspiration.

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