Judge blocks Arkansas ban on delta-8 THC, other hemp products

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In at least a temporary victory for the Arkansas hemp industry, a federal judge blocked enforcement of a recent state ban on products containing intoxicating hemp-derived cannabinoids such as delta-8 THC.

Calling the ban confusing and arbitrary, U.S. District Court Judge Billy Roy Wilson on Thursday granted an injunction that stops the state from enforcing it, according to Little Rock TV station KTHV.

The judge’s ruling stemmed from a lawsuit filed by four hemp-product makers in July – the day before the ban was to take effect.

The suit argued the ban was “unconstitutionally vague.”

Arkansas in May became the latest state with a legal marijuana industry to regulate or ban intoxicating hemp-derived products, which have exploded in popularity since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp production nationwide.

The judge wrote in his decision that “Arkansas law criminalizes hemp derived products without an effective exemption for interstate commerce.”

He noted that Arkansas has the right to restrict delta-8 products but can’t prohibit transporting them through the state.

The case is set to go to trial on Aug. 27, 2024, KTHV reported.

Meanwhile, Congress is set to review the Farm Bill this year, but it’s uncertain whether federal lawmakers will address the unintended rise of the hemp-derived cannabinoid industry.