(RepublicanNews.org) – The Kentucky House unanimously passed a bill on March 9th to regulate products containing delta-8 THC, a derivative of the marijuana plant.
On a vote of 97-0 the bill will now go to the Senate.
Delta-8 THC comes from the hemp plant, a member of the cannabis family. THC is the main intoxicating chemical in this type of cannabis/marijuana. Traditional cannabis products, like the ones sold in dispensaries, contain Delta-9 THC, which is a slightly different chemical to Delta-8 but has very similar intoxicating effects.
Lawmakers said they were hearing from constituents that children could too easily get their hands on products containing the chemical, as it is often sold in edible form, such as gummy candies.
House Bill 544 would direct the state’s health department to write rules regulating the production and sale of Delta-8 THC. These rules would include a ban on selling the products to anyone younger than 21.
A trade organization for the hemp industry praised the bill for striking the right balance without unnecessarily criminalizing the products. Jonathan Miller of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable said the bill was “strong legislation” that would keep Delta-8 out of the hands of minors.
Banning or criminalizing the product would be a mistake, he said, but it was crucial to keep the chemical out of the hands of children.
The bill does not give the Kentucky health department carte blanche to write rules; HB 544 does have guidelines. Retailers will be required to keep such products behind the counter, and products will have to be clearly labeled to disclose their ingredients and dosage of THC.
In Kentucky, it is currently legal to distill and possess cannabis oils of this type if they have less than .3% THC.
Though concerned citizens and lawmakers have sometimes claimed to know of children who have “overdosed” on Delta-8, it would require an extraordinary amount of the product. A fatal overdose on THC alone is nearly impossible, though it is quite common for THC to cause extreme discomfort, panic, and confusion when consumed in large quantities.
Infants or young children who accidentally ingest marijuana are more likely to require hospital admission compared to older children who ingest similar concentrations due to their smaller size and weight and increased severity of symptoms.
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