Alaska hemp growers sue over state’s new regulations

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A coalition of hemp cultivators in Alaska filed a lawsuit arguing that the state’s new regulations for intoxicating hemp-derived products are unconstitutional.

The Alaska Industrial Hemp Association and four companies filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Anchorage, according to news website Alaska Beacon.

Defendants named in the lawsuit are:

  • The Alaska Department of Natural Resources and its commissioner, John Boyle III.
  • The state’s Division of Agriculture and its director, Bryan Scoresby.
  • The state of Alaska.
  • Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom.

Under the state’s new rules, hemp-derived products with intoxicating levels of delta-8 or delta-9 THC must be approved by Alaska’s Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office.

Certain hemp products for epilepsy and pain would also fall under the marijuana regulator’s purview.

The plaintiffs’ attorney, Christopher Hoke, said the new regulations would effectively make all hemp-derived products illegal.

According to the filing, the four businesses joining the hemp trade group in the lawsuit are:

  • Primo Farms North, dba Primo.
  • GD Sales, dba Hempire-Co.
  • McDonough Corp., dba Frontier CBDs.
  • Alaska Edibles, dba Alaska Gummies.

State regulators across the U.S. are taking different approaches to hemp-derived products, which have become increasingly popular since the 2018 Farm Bill but aren’t federally regulated.

The Cannabis Regulators Association, which represents state regulatory bodies, asked Congress in September to redefine and create new regulations for hemp-derived products.