Companies can’t say Delta-9 is in their food or drinks in SC | BusinessPosted by On

Following the recent boom in products advertised as “containing Delta-9,” South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control has issued a sweeping letter to the hemp industry warning that the substance isn’t an approved food and beverage additive.

This affects a budding industry that is peddling Delta-9 seltzers as an alternative to alcohol. Delta-9 is the most prominent form of tetrahydrocannabinol — popularly known as THC — found in the cannabis plant.

DHEC’s guidance is a far cry from outlawing cannabinoids in food and drink, though it will have a significant impact on how manufacturers do business in the state.

The Jan. 22 letter outlined DHEC’s stance that full spectrum hemp oil is the only approved cannabis-based ingredient — so long as it contains no more than .03 percent Delta-9 on a dry weight basis, is food-grade and from a certified supplier.

DHEC goes further to say that product labels shouldn’t declare that they contain THC, CBD or Delta-9 — though all of the above naturally occur in hemp oil.

The agency asserts that by advertising these chemicals, the manufacturer is implying the product is “no longer a food item, but a drug.”

Delta-9 was federally legalized by the 2018 farm bill, so long as it appears in less than .03 percent concentration on a dry weight basis. The law was silent on whether Delta-8 is legal, leading the South Carolina attorney general to issue a statement saying that it isn’t.

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