Maryland hemp-derived THC retailers could reopen after judge’s ruling

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Hemp-derived THC product retailers in Maryland can reopen, at least temporarily, after a circuit court judge issued a preliminary injunction allowing them to resume selling intoxicating THC products.

Judge Brett Wilson’s decision on Thursday halted enforcement of a section of a new state law allowing only licensed marijuana stores to sell hemp-derived products with intoxicating amounts of THC, according to The Washington Post.

Those products include delta-8 THC, delta-10 THC and synthetic, lab-made THC goods, the newspaper noted.

The law – which took effect in July, when Maryland launched adult-use cannabis sales – prompted the Maryland Hemp Coalition to file a civil suit.

The lawsuit argued that the new law was unconstitutional.

A decision on the lawsuit is pending, but state regulators said they were discouraged by the injunction.

“The Administration was disappointed to learn of the preliminary decision in Washington County Circuit Court allowing for the continued sale of unregulated, untested, and intoxicating hemp-derived products,” William Tilburg, director of the Maryland Cannabis Administration, said in a statement to the Post.

Hemp business owners, however, rejoiced.

“I was inches away from bankruptcy,” plaintiff Nicholas Patrick, the operator of Embrace Wellness Centers, told the Post.

State governments have wrestled with the explosive growth of hemp-derived products since the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp but didn’t create a plan for federal oversight of it or its derivatives.

Alaska lawmakers, for example, recently passed a bill that places regulation of hemp-derived products under the state’s marijuana regulatory agency.