Some shuttered businesses that sold hemp-derived products in Maryland until a new state law took effect will soon be able to reopen under a preliminary injunction issued by a circuit court judge.
Judge Brett R. Wilson on Thursday suspended enforcement of a portion of the state’s cannabis law that, this summer, forced CBD shops to stop selling products that contain intoxicating levels of THC derived from hemp. The law reserved that business only for the medical cannabis companies that are newly licensed to start selling a wider array of cannabis products to recreational users.
The underlying lawsuit filed by the Maryland Hemp Coalition and other businesses in the hemp supply chain remains unresolved. It alleges restrictions in the state’s new recreational cannabis market violate the Maryland Constitution’s equal protection and anti-monopoly clauses by effectively shutting down their businesses and excluding them from a tightly controlled market.
The state government is seeking to dismiss the lawsuit, but Wilson’s ruling will allow the hemp retailers who were put out of business by the new law to be able to operate, said attorney Nevin Young, who represents the plaintiffs.
Maryland officials Thursday said the order hurt efforts to make THC-containing products, including those derived from hemp, safer for Maryland consumers. Outside of the regulatory structure created for cannabis, other hemp-derived products, including delta-8 THC, delta-10 THC, and synthetic, lab-made THC products, do not have testing, labeling, or manufacturing standards.
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