Florida Moves Closer to Outlawing Delta-8 Products from Hemp

Florida may soon ban delta-8 products such as vapes, edible gummies and joints. This comes after senators approved a measure that would prevent naturally occurring or synthetic delta-8 and delta-10 from being sold legally as hemp products.

Delta-8 and delta-10 can produce a psychoactive high when consumed. Delta-8 is a naturally occurring tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) compound; THC is one of the two main psychoactive compounds found in the marijuana plant, the other being cannabidiol (“CBD”).

An identical measure in Florida’s house, HB 1613, may soon be voted on.

The senate measure in question, SB 1698, would impose a limit on the potency of hemp products. It would also ban the adding of flavoring to hemp vapes, in an effort to make hemp products less attractive to children. Additionally, it would mandate that the hotline for poison control (1-800-222-1222) be printed on the packaging of all hemp products. Furthermore, the measure sets aside $2 million to buy testing equipment for the state’s law enforcement department.

Currently, delta-8 tinctures, gummies, vapes and other products are sold at retail stores and online, as well as at gas stations and smoke shops throughout Florida.

Why are lawmakers focused on banning delta-8?

The U.S. Federal Drug Administration (“FDA”) has raised concerns about how the compound is processed. The agency notes that chemical processes may be used to convert compounds such as CBD into delta-8, which may introduce contaminants.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) expressed similar concerns about potential contaminants in an earlier health notice. In THE notice, the CDC highlighted that consumers who sought mild products such as CBD could be unprepared for products with delta-8 and their effects.

Thus far, seven states have restricted the use of delta-8 while 17 states in the country have banned it. Representative Tommy Gregory, who sponsored the measure, stated that it was a tool aimed at protecting consumers. He highlighted the increase observed in calls made to the poison control hotline regarding hemp ingestion.

This sentiment isn’t shared by all, however. Business owners have criticized the resolution, arguing that the restrictions are extensive and could negatively impact the state’s hemp industry. One store owner stated that imposing a cap on THC could affect products that didn’t have any psychoactive effects.

Additionally, some consumers have given testimonies attesting to hemp products helping them manage their physical pain and avoiding the use of drugs such as opioids. One patient revealed that hemp helped her manage her epilepsy and told legislators that the banning of hemp products would prompt users to shift to the medical cannabis market.

Some of the issues various jurisdictions are facing in distinguishing between legal and illicit hemp products could be addressed by acquiring mass spectrometry testing equipment from several manufacturers, including Astrotech Corp. (NASDAQ: ASTC), to help in confirming that the products on the market adhere to the existing regulations.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Astrotech Corp. (NASDAQ: ASTC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ASTC

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