Rhode Island Regulators Warn Intoxicating Hemp Goods 'Incredibly Problematic'

Questions remain around whether the state's delta-8 ban is on solid legal footing.

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.

John Schroyer

John Schroyer has been a reporter since 2006, initially with a focus on politics, and covered the 2012 Colorado campaign to legalize marijuana. He has written about the cannabis industry specifically since 2014, after being on hand for the first-ever legal cannabis sales on New Year’s Day that year in Denver. John has covered subsequent marijuana market launches in California and Illinois, has written about every aspect of the marijuana trade, and was part of the team that built the cannabis industry’s first-ever trade show, MJBizCon. He joined Green Market Report in 2022.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest cannabis news delivered right to your inbox

The Morning Rise

Unpack the industry with the daily cannabis newsletter for business leaders.

 Sign up

About Us

The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


Recent Tweets

Get the latest cannabis news delivered right to your inbox

The Morning Rise

Unpack the industry with the daily cannabis newsletter for business leaders.