Massachusetts Lawmakers Push Intoxicating Hemp Regs to 2025

in Culture

State lawmakers in Massachusetts say a bill to regulate intoxicating hemp products is unlikely to pass this year despite their insistence that regulations are needed. 

Massachusetts has legalized and regulated medical marijuana and adult-use cannabis, and both are tightly regulated under state law. Hemp products, however, are generally legal under federal law but unregulated at the state level. As a result, hemp products are widely available at retailers including gas stations, convenience stores and smoke shops throughout the Bay State without regulations governing their sale, including minimum age requirements.

On Tuesday, the state legislature’s Joint Committees on Agriculture and Cannabis Policy held an oversight hearing to consider proposals to regulate ingestible hemp products that contain THC. Democratic state Representative Paul Schmid, co-chair of the Agriculture Committee, decried the current regulatory environment for intoxicating hemp products at the end of the joint hearing.

“My goodness,” Schmid exclaimed, WBUR local news reported on Thursday. “We have a situation where intoxicating hemp products are being produced, probably from hemp that isn’t grown in Massachusetts, in labs that have no supervision, being put into packages that have no age requirements, and they’re competing with our lawful cannabis retailers. This is a heck of a situation.” 

The oversight hearing was held because of confusion in the state government about who is responsible for regulating hemp products and enforcing the regulations. At the hearing, state agencies including the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), and the Cannabis Control Commission offered input to lawmakers. 

Kimberly Roy, a member of the Cannabis Control Commission, said that hemp products the agency had tested by an independent lab often had 15 to 30 contaminants. She also said that licensed cannabis operators are being squeezed by competition from unregulated hemp products.

“Licensees who have …

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Author: A.J. Herrington / High Times

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