Utah bans smokable hemp and CBD in food, punts hemp oversight to feds

Utah has outlawed smokable hemp and CBD in food under a new law that also punts oversight of the plant’s production to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The law, signed by Gov. Spencer Cox Monday, makes Utah the sixth state to defer to federal authorities on regulating hemp cultivation.

The law also makes it a crime to grow, process or possess smokable hemp and to add hemp to “a conventional food or beverage.”

The law does not ban delta-8 THC.

In fact, it defines synthetic cannabinoids to say they don’t include “any cannabinoid that has been intentionally created using a process to convert one cannabinoid to another,” as is often the case with delta-8 THC production.

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food will continue oversight of licensed hemp processors.

The agency is also charged with coming up with rules for manufacturing cannabinoid products, though the law says that cannabinoid regulators “may not prohibit a sugar coating on a cannabinoid product to mask the product’s taste.”

Last year, Utah licensed some 128 hemp growers on 1,566 acres and 255,342 indoor square feet. The state licensed 97 hemp processors.