UT bars smokable hemp, CBD in food, gives hemp oversight to US

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(A version of this story first appeared at Hemp Industry Daily.)

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

The law, signed Monday by Gov. Spencer Cox, 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 developing rules for manufacturing cannabinoid products, though the law stipulates that cannabinoid regulators “may not prohibit a sugar coating on a cannabinoid product to mask the product’s taste.”

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Last year, Utah licensed:

  • Roughly 128 cultivators on 1,566 acres and 255,342 indoor square feet.
  • 97 hemp processors.