Mar 12, 2024 - News

Cannabis sellers want CBD market regulated

Delta 8 goods for sale.

Delta-8 THC for sale at a Texas dispensary. Photo: Sergio Flores for the Washington Post via Getty Images

The CEO of Texas' largest legal medical marijuana dispensary is calling on Gov. Greg Abbott and state lawmakers to regulate the sale of hemp-derived CBD products, including Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC.

Why it matters: Nico Richardson, CEO of Austin-based Texas Original, says the state's unregulated hemp market has created a public health crisis, citing a spike in drug-related offenses in Texas schools and the abundance of young patients involved in calls to the Texas Poison Center Network.

Context: Texas has a relatively small and intensely regulated Compassionate Use program that allows approved doctors to legally prescribe low levels of THC β€” the main psychoactive component in marijuana that gets users high β€” to treat conditions like cancer, PTSD and epilepsy.

  • But vape stores and gas stations all over the state sell unregulated CBD products and CBD-derived THC products known as Delta-8 and Delta-9, in the form of gummies and flower that look similar to traditional marijuana.
  • The federal Food and Drug Administration has warned that some manufacturers may use unsafe chemicals to convert CBD into Delta-8 β€” and that children might be particularly vulnerable to the effects.

Zoom out: Delta-8 is banned in 17 states, according to the National Cannabis Industry Association.

πŸ’­ Our thought bubble: In marijuana's unsettled regulatory space, dispensaries are aiming to get laws on the books that offer business certainty β€”Β and potentially shut down fly-by-night competitors.

What they're saying: State officials should "work together to create a safe and effective regulatory framework for hemp products," Richardson tells Axios.

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