US (VA): With hemp regulations passed, the future legal cannabis market is still to be determined

Virginia lawmakers were not ready to set up a recreational cannabis market this session, but they did pass Gov. Glenn Youngkin-backed bills to more tightly regulate the hemp market. Products sold can only have up to 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol — otherwise known as THC — and up to 2 milligrams of THC per package, according to the law.

With no recreational cannabis market, some are turning to delta-8 products. Following calls to poison control centers relating to delta-8, the Youngkin administration supported seeking packaging and labeling regulations.
House Bill 2294 by House Majority Leader Terry Kilgore, R-Scott, passed both chambers, albeit with some pushback. Calling it “a complete mess,” Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Fairfax, argued that splitting regulatory authority between different agencies would be convoluted. The Virginia Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services would look over hemp-derived foods, while the Cannabis Control Authority would look over inhaled products.

“This is like saying we’re gonna have [Alcoholic Beverage Control] regulate liquor, and we’re gonna have the Department of Health regulate beer,” he said. “The reason we’re doing this is because somebody upstairs doesn’t want to talk about it,” he said.


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