The law would include sales of delta-8, one of over 100 hemp-derived cannabinoids and one of just a handful shown to have psychoactive effects. It’s known to be more mild than delta-9, more commonly referred to as just plain THC, which is abundant in marijuana plants.
However, Huffman said manufacturers can now tweak delta-8 into increasingly psychoactive derivatives that are technically shielded by the 2018 Federal Farm Bill, which legalized hemp as a crop.
“There’s this gray area. It’s hemp, but you can convert it,” Huffman said of delta-8. “It’s under the farm bill, so it’s legal, but you can convert the stuff in hemp into intoxicating stuff, and that’s what you see in some of these stores that the governor wants to regulate.”
DeWine worked with the Senate to pass an Issue 2 reform bill that would have, among other things, done away with the “vast, vast majority” of hemp-derived cannabinoids, intoxicating or not, according to Huffman. The bill has not been taken up by the House.
In a press conference this month, DeWine again asked the General Assembly to either fully ban delta-8 or at least age restrict sales to adults 21 years old or older. The governor cautioned that the compound could be converted, but also criticized the manufacturers and sellers of specific products for targeting kids directly with colorful packaging that spoofs popular brands or boasts athlete endorsements.
The press conference and the Senate bill, which has been pointedly…