I have previously written about lawsuits filed against manufacturers and sellers of hemp-synthesized intoxicants (HSI), such as Delta-8 THC, by the Attorneys General of California and Nebraska, as well as warning letters issued by the FDA, to stop the marketing and sale of HSIs. Add to those, recent enforcement actions by the Attorney General of Connecticut against seven HSI manufacturers/sellers, which claim they have violated the CT’s unfair competition laws by marketing and selling unregulated cannabis products.
The key point of all of the above actions is the unregulated nature of HSIs, which creates public safety concerns. As the CT AG explained: “Cannabis is legal for adults in Connecticut, but it’s not a free-for-all—retailers must be licensed and legal cannabis products must comply with strict safety standards. . . None of these products have been subject to Connecticut’s rigorous testing standards or contain appropriate warnings. Some are sold in dangerous and misleading packaging designed to appeal to children. These products are designed to deceive consumers into believing they are safe, tested, and regulated—that is false. ”
HSIs can be just as intoxicating, if not more so, than cannabis products regulated under a state’s medical or adult-use cannabis laws and regulations. However, in many states HSIs are not regulated and thus may not have undergone safety testing or be accurately labeled, posing health and safety risks to consumers. While, as I have previously written, the cannabis and hemp industries may debate whether the 2018 Farm Bill legalized HSIs, there should not be any real debate about the need for product safety or the right of states to protect their citizen consumers.