Although Rhode Island has already banned hemp-based delta-8 goods that could be intoxicating for consumers, marijuana regulators in the state expressed concern over similar items that are easily available online.
“These products are completely untested, and they can be sold to minors,” Erica Ferrelli, chief of strategic planning, monitoring, and evaluation at the Rhode Island Office of Cannabis Regulation, told WPRI Target 12, adding that the situation is “incredibly problematic.”
One hemp-based delta-8 edible that the news outlet purchased and had tested by an independent lab was found to have 70 milligrams of both delta-8 and delta-9 THC, WPRI reported, which exceeds the state limit of 10 milligrams of THC.
“Folks have reached out to us because of both adverse reactions they themselves have had via purchasing these products, or that their children have had either through intentional consumption or through finding a product that looks exactly like a Sour Patch Kid or Starburst and unintentionally consuming that and ending up in the hospital,” Ferrelli told WPRI.
While state regulators have been busy trying to persuade local retailers – such as gas stations and convenience stores – that they’re not allowed to sell such goods, the going has been slow and is on uncertain legal footing, WPRI reported.
The problem is it’s unclear whether the 2018 federal Farm Bill – which legalized hemp nationally and led to the delta-8 boom – would supersede the state’s ban on delta-8 products, WPRI reported, which means it’s not clear whether any such state ban would be upheld if challenged in court. Earlier this month, a court in Maryland sided with hemp operators challenging restrictions on hemp-derived products.
According to a recent report by CBD Oracle, 17 states have already enacted total bans on delta-8 goods, and another seven have severely restricted the sale of such items. Hemp-based delta-8 goods remain completely legal and unfettered in another 23 states.