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Utah Officials Push for New Rules Governing Delta-8 THC, Cannabis Regulators in Oklahoma Seek Public Input on Business License Moratorium, and Ohio Lawmakers Consider Bill to Expand MMJ Program

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Utah Officials Push for New Rules Governing Delta-8 THC

Medical cannabis pharmacies first opened in Utah in 2020. Then-Governor Gary Hebert made changes to the program that allowed “THC analogs” in vape cartridges, edibles, and other medical marijuana products. By definition, “THC analogs” are substances similar in structure or pharmacology to delta-9 THC. Therefore, under current Utah law, products with delta-8 THC and other synthetic cannabis derivatives can legally be sold in medical cannabis pharmacies throughout the state. But the process by which delta-8 THC is derived from hemp is largely unregulated and may potentially contaminate products, which is creating safety controversy in states across the U.S. Patients, researchers, and advocates have called for a ban on delta-8 THC products after reporting adverse effects. In response to these concerns, the Cannabis and Hemp Division of the Utah Department of Agriculture is requesting that changes be made to the state law to allow officials to restrict synthetic cannabinoids

Cannabis Regulators in Oklahoma Seek Public Input on Business License Moratorium

Oklahoma’s medical cannabis market is considered one of the most business-friendly programs in the country. This fall, lawmakers made changes to the regulations governing the state’s medical marijuana program. The changes included: a two-year pause on issuing new business licenses, a ban on cannabis cultivation within 1,000 feet of a school, and clear product packaging. As officials look ahead to the possibility of recreational cannabis legalization in 2023, they want public input on these recent changes to the medical marijuana program. Business owners and those impacted by the changes have until December 15th to give regulators information on how the new regulations will impact their revenue and any other implications. 

Ohio Lawmakers Consider Bill to Expand MMJ Program

Lawmakers in Ohio are considering legislation that would expand the state’s medical marijuana program. Currently, the MMJ program only enrolls approximately 2 percent of the state’s population. To qualify, patients must be diagnosed with one of 22 specific illnesses or conditions. Program critics are quick to point out that, unlike other medical cannabis programs, autism spectrum disorder is not one of the qualifying conditions in Ohio. The state General Assembly is contemplating expanding the program to include any individual with “symptoms may reasonably be expected to be relieved from medical marijuana.” Despite the low enrollment, medical cannabis sales in Ohio are still expected to reach $550 million by the end of 2022. While lawmakers look to expand medical cannabis access, advocates are making a renewed effort to get an initiative on the ballot for fall 2023.