Virginia Cannabis Control Authority Issues Report on Consumable Hemp Products

Wednesday, November 1st 2023
Virginia

Report Mandated by 2023 Virginia General Assembly

RICHMOND – This week the Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (CCA) released its report on consumable hemp products, including policy recommendations for further regulation.

The popularity of consumable hemp products has skyrocketed recently, largely due to their widespread availability, easy access, and potential to produce intoxicating effects comparable to marijuana’s. Virginia has made progress in controlling consumable hemp products; however, they still pose significant safety and health risks, including:

  • Easy access to the products by minors, which has spurred a rapid increase in poisonings, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations;
  • Inadvertent consumption, particularly by minors, due to the resemblance of the products to other non-intoxicating goods; and
  • Product contamination by solvents, heavy metals, microbials, and pesticides.

The 2023 General Assembly requested the CCA undertake the report amid rising concern over these public safety and health risks. Lawmakers directed the CCA to examine, among other things, the approaches other states have taken to control consumable hemp products and to identify whether any of these policy tools might further bolster Virginia’s existing laws regulating the products.

The report concludes with four recommendations for lawmakers to consider:

  1. Imposing robust contaminant testing requirements for all consumable hemp products
  2. Requiring ingredient limits and implementing a preapproval process for the products
  3. Restricting the access of minors to consumable hemp products at retail locations and through online sales
  4. Imposing further limits on online sales of the products

“The report offers several practical policy recommendations for enhancing safety and health. These include suggestions for strengthening the protection of minors, the most vulnerable population when it comes to consumable hemp products,” said Jeremy Preiss, CCA Acting Head and Chief Officer of Regulatory, Policy, and External Affairs. “The CCA stands ready to help, as needed, if lawmakers determine to move forward with any of the recommended actions.”

The full report can be accessed online.

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