New York state is the latest to expressly prohibit delta-8 THC and other THC isomers derived from hemp.
But the Empire State made small concessions to hemp producers this week in an updated batch of hemp regulations, including a modification to limits on smokable hemp and removing a requirement that all cannabinoids over 0.05% be listed on product labels.
New York is going to keep its proposed ban on hemp prerolls, cigarettes and any “flower product labeled or advertised for the purpose of smoking.” But the state health department says it will allow the sale of hemp flower, so long as the flower is not branded as an item for smoking.
Hemp vapes are allowed if they are limited to customers over 21 and carry “a warning stating that smoking or vaporizing is hazardous to your health.”
Regarding complaints that farmers in New York would lose business opportunities in the smokable hemp market, regulators were unswayed.
“It is the mission of the (health department) to protect, improve and promote the health, productivity and wellbeing of all New Yorkers, and the commitment to a smoke–free society is consistent with that mission,” the agency said.
The delta-8 THC ban, new since the health department first proposed the rules last year, comes in a line that says hemp cannabinoid products may “not contain synthetic cannabinoids, or cannabinoids created through isomerization, including [delta] 8-tetrahydrocannabinol and [delta] 10-tetrahydrocannabinol.”
At least six states have considered or are currently updating their laws to specifically govern delta-8 THC, joining at least 11 that already have laws on the books addressing the minor cannabinoid, which can produce psychoactive effects in some people, although they are considered to be less potent than the delta 9-THC common in marijuana.
The labeling requirement remains in place for CBD and THC amounts in a product, just not for all cannabinoids in a product.
The New York updates come six weeks after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law making a first-in-the-nation attempt to regulate hemp operators working with flower and cannabinoid products the same way the state oversees marijuana operators, designating a new category for “cannabinoid hemp” that will be governed by a new Office of Cannabis Management.
New York’s health department told hemp and marijuana operators that it won’t require track-and-trace systems for hemp products, as some marijuana operators have requested.
“Unlike medical marijuana and adult–use cannabis markets, cannabinoid hemp products can enter interstate commerce and it would be impractical to impose a state level seed–to–sale requirement on an industry not limited to intrastate,” regulators wrote.
New York’s updates are getting mixed reviews with the hemp industry.
Michelle Bodian, a cannabis attorney with the Vicente Sederberg firm in New York City, said that the state has the “potential to set a model for the rest of the country in regulating consumable hemp products.”
But she added that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ought to lay down a single set of health-and-safety regulations.
“Until there are national standards from FDA concerning cannabinoid hemp products, it continues to be very difficult and impractical for businesses to comply with these very specific state testing and labeling requirements, let alone all the other unique requirements.”
Hemp grower Andrew Rosner of HR Botanicals in Long Eddy pointed out that some of the requirements may be too onerous for small operators.
He pointed specifically to a requirement that hemp flower be processed in a facility with expensive certifications.
“New York State should consider the impact of the cannabinoid hemp regulations on various size growers. As they currently stand, the requirements will significantly impact smaller growers,” he told Hemp Industry Daily in an email. “This will add significant costs and hurdles to getting whole flower to market.”