Federal Appeals Court Says Delta-8 THC Products are Legal
Late last week, a federal appeals court ruled that delta-8 THC products derived from hemp are lawful. According to the formal ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, when Congress legalized hemp with the 2018 Farm Bill it also included “derivatives” and “extracts”, thus making delta-8 THC legal. The ruling does not expressly address consumable delta-8 THC products, however. While the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, it placed the oversight of selling such products on the FDA. To date, the FDA has not authorized any cannabinoid products without a prescription. In September of last year, the FDA even issued a warning specifically regarding delta-8 THC products, saying they were potentially harmful. The confusion surrounding delta-8 THC products has caused many states to restrict their sale.
Vermont’s Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Allow for Personal Use Amounts of Drugs
Last Thursday, Vermont Governor Phil Scott vetoed a bill known as H.505. The legislation would have created a state panel and directed them to devise standard “personal use” amounts for various drugs. The legislation would also have removed the current distinction for sentencing between powder cocaine and crack cocaine, as the difference negatively impacts people of color. While the bill would not have changed the laws surrounding any particular drug or substance, advocates think this would have been a step in the direction of decriminalization and repairing the damage from the War on Drugs. Earlier last week, Governor Scott also vetoed legislation that would have expanded the eligibility for record expungement for specific non-violent crimes.
FDA Commissioner Committed to Finding a Path for CBD Regulation
The head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has admitted that the agency has lagged in taking steps to regulate CBD – even though hemp and its derivatives are federally legal. FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf told a congressional subcommittee that the bulk of their efforts has been on researching CBD. Califf was insistent that he would like the agency to create rules and regulations surrounding CBD products but said that the FDA would need more regulatory authority from Congress to accomplish this. He said, “I don’t think the current authorities we have on the food side or the drug side necessarily give us what we need to have to get the right pathways forward. We’re going to have to come up with something new. I’m very committed to doing that.”