State cannabis regulators are telling congressional lawmakers that their investigation into the lack of federal rules for hemp-derived CBD products must take into account other cannabinoids like delta-8 THC that are emerging on the market—and they also need to provide an agency like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with enhanced regulatory authority.

In response to a request for expert input on CBD regulations from key House and Senate committees last month, the Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA) sent lawmakers a letter on Friday that offered recommendations on creating a framework for all hemp-based cannabinoids. The submission is informed by group members' collective experiences overseeing state cannabis programs.

One of the regulators' main points to the House Energy & Commerce Committee and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee concerns the scope of the inquiry. While there's been significant focus on CBD, the federal legalization of hemp under the 2018 Farm Bill also broadly decontrolled all derivatives besides delta-9 THC, including intoxicating compounds like delta-8 THC and THC-O-acetate. CANNRA said Congress "effectively legalized cannabis federally, without product regulation, and called it 'hemp.'"

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has said that it considers those cannabinoids illegal if they're synthetically produced—as is common practice for delta-8 THC—but the market for such products has flourished nonetheless with limited enforcement. Several states have independently taken steps to ban or restrict such substances.