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‘Battle royale’: Cannabis regulation bills pit regulatory agency against some marijuana businesses in Washington

An effort by state regulators to rein in sale of intoxicating cannabis that can be produced with materials outside their authority has some major business interests crying foul.

The Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board has requested a change in the law that would explicitly permit it to prohibit the sale of intoxicating materials derived from hemp. The request comes on the heels of rulemaking started in earnest by the board last year after it was discovered that some of the state’s retailers were selling products including “delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC),” an intoxicant chemically similar to delta-9 THC found in adult marijuana plants, that had been produced from hemp, which was made federally legal following passage of the 2018 farm bill.

Some existing producers in the state argue the ban is necessary to avoid an existential crisis for their businesses, as hemp producers can provide raw material to turn into intoxicants for pennies on the dollar compared to legal marijuana producers that must adhere to a costly set of regulations from the state. But at least one major cannabis industry trade organization has offered its own law in rebuttal to the Liquor and Cannabis Board’s plan, saying the state will stifle future growth in an industry that produces tens of millions of dollars in excise tax revenue each month. [Read more at The Spokesman-Review]

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