A loophole in a 2018 federal farm bill allows hemp-based cannabis products to be sold legally as long as they contain no more than 0.3% of Delta-9 THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. The products have flooded gas stations and vape shops nationwide, all promising a "legal high."
Cliff Osbon, co-founder of Steep Hill, the first licensed medical cannabis testing lab in the state, bought a variety of these products at stores around Rankin County, tested them, and found that they contained three to 40 times the legal amount of THC.
"This is a lot higher levels than we expected," Osbon said. "They also had edibles or gummies for sale, and some of those were available in strengths and quantities greater than a person with a medical marijuana card in Mississippi can go buy at a legal dispensary."
One of the products Steep Hill tested also contained eight pesticides, some at 20 times the allowed levels for medical cannabis. Under current state law, none of these products are under testing requirements.
Read more at mpbonline.org