Delta 8 Restrictions Proposed in Maryland with Minimal Data, Lack of Collaboration and in Defiance of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018
BETHESDA, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Georgetown Hemp, along with other hemp industry businesses in Maryland, announced today the industry’s opposition to state bills SB0788 and HB1078. The bills, if passed, would effectively devastate the hemp industry in Maryland, increase expense and inconvenience for those currently using the Delta 8 THC products to relieve pain and suffering, and further solidify a medical marijuana monopoly in Maryland.
Responsible wholesalers and retailers have for years taken precautionary steps against selling Delta 8 products to minors, and the hemp industry is eager to work with legislators to further ensure the products are available only to those benefitting from them that are 21 or older. Delta 8 THC – a mild THC-derived product – has had its legality assured by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which referred the study of Delta 8 products and their availability, not to state legislatures, but to states’ Departments of Agriculture.
Maryland wholesalers like Georgetown Hemp, which ships to retailers in Maryland and other states, have deployed costly, stringent testing processes for the products, said Georgetown Hemp CEO Daniel Simmonds, more stringent than regulators require of medical marijuana dispensaries. Moreover, “our Delta 8 THC products are subject to a tracking chain of custody from the moment the plant is harvested through every stage of processing and manufacturing,” he said. The hemp industry in the state wants these testing procedures to be a standard for the entire industry, and to serve as a blueprint for would-be regulators. Yet the industry has not been consulted before the legislative rush to restrict Delta 8 products.
Other industry concerns are:
- A lack of understanding of Delta 8 THC’s effectiveness in relieving ailments associated with maladies such as epileptic seizures, depression, and even Parkinson’s disease.
- Co-relating Delta 8 THC users with medical marijuana patients when they are similar to CBD market customers.
- A legislative ear for the medical marijuana lobby, but not for the local hemp industry.
- A tendency toward a one-shot, overreaching embrace of regulatory control instead of consideration for and interest in Maryland’s free enterprise business community, which the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 has ensured for the hemp industry.
- An unwillingness to collaborate with industry professionals, scientists, medical practitioners and academics about Delta 8 THC before advancing restrictive, business-crippling legislation.
“As the proposed legislation is shaping up, it would penalize responsible business owners and bolster the black market, which would negatively affect dispensaries as well as businesses selling Delta 8 products,” said Nicholas Patrick, Founder and President of the Embrace CBD Wellness Centers, who added that there’s no reason Delta 8 THC businesses and medical marijuana dispensaries cannot co-exist in the state. “The proposed legislative solution would not solve the stated purpose of consumer safety, but it would eradicate ethical small businesses already struggling in a Covid economy.”
Georgetown Hemp’s Simmonds added that the legislation would also halt important Delta 8 THC research and science begun since the Agriculture Improvement Act’s passage. There’s much would-be regulators need to learn about Delta 8 THC, Embrace Wellness Centers’ Patrick said. “We wonder what their data set is by which they come to the conclusions that adults’ access to Delta 8 products should be restricted.”
A petition against the proposed senate bill has begun circulating. A Facebook community has also gathered to support the access and availability of Delta 8 products: https://www.facebook.com/groups/478261860601346/?ref=share
Liz Schroeder, GW Communications
(201) 280-2816, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Alterwitz, for Georgetown Hemp