(This story has been updated to correct that the governor approved the bill.)
Virginia is the latest state to ban delta-8 THC products, with Gov. Glenn Youngkin waiting until the final day allowable to approve a bill that also limits the sale of smokable hemp.
The bill – with amendments from the governor – approved Monday redefines THC in Virginia statutes to eliminate any mention of “delta-9,” a change that means hemp operators will no longer be able to sell intoxicating THC isomers such as delta-8 THC outside marijuana sales channels.
Virginia lawmakers still could override the governor’s amendments with an emergency two-thirds vote.
“Delta-8 is, in fact, basically marijuana, and marijuana is prohibited from being sold right now,” Youngkin told Norfolk TV station WTKR last week.
The delta-8 THC ban takes effect Oct. 1.
The law also:
- Bans the sale of hemp edibles in the shape of animals, fruits or people – a limitation that matches a provision faced by edibles products such as adult-use THC.
- Limits the sale of smokable hemp to people older than 21.
Also Monday, Youngkin signed a law to expand access for Virginia medical marijuana patients.
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- Eliminates a requirement that marijuana patients register with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy.
- Removes active-ingredient ratio mandates for medical marijuana products.
Virginia legalized recreational marijuana last year, but a commercial market isn’t expected to launch until 2024.
The state’s adult-use market is projected to reach $875 million to $1.1 billion by 2026, according to the 2022 MJBiz Factbook.