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Washington becomes latest state to clarify ban on hemp-derived ‘delta-8’ cannabis products

Lab-created cannabis products made from hemp that have been surging in popularity are banned in Washington, a policy statement issued Wednesday by the state’s regulatory body said.

The initial response from the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board to a question that has spread nationally over the past few months is merely advisory, regulators said, and is a precursor to a larger discussion about whether federal drug law applies to compounds derived from hemp.

The request to prohibit production and sale of “delta-8” products, named for the form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that is dominant in them, came from licensed marijuana growers in the state who argued they were being forced out of the market by a cheaper product that should be banned under federal law.

The Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board said Thursday that, while the policy statement is “advisory only,” it would work with sellers and producers through a formal rulemaking process that will begin in mid-May.

At least one trade group representing marijuana businesses has asked the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board to avoid such a sweeping action, arguing delta-8 products are popular among medical users and that the market shouldn’t be completely closed.

Delta-8 is created most often through lab-based extraction from hemp plants, which turns a chemical compound in the plant into a product that produces a less profound “high” than the THC in most cannabis products you’d buy at stores, “delta-9.” [Read More @ The Spokesman-Review]

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