The NJ Senate Law and Public Safety Committee passed a Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) hemp sales ban sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) and Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) to regulate the market.
This differs from O’Scanlon’s bill S 3470, which Ruiz is also sponsoring. That would have the NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission regulate the Delta-8 hemp market.
“Delta-8 products are being sold all over the state, in gas stations and corner stores, with absolutely no oversight,” said Ruiz. “Despite having psycho-active properties similar to marijuana, it is easily accessible and completely unregulated. This legislation will make it clear that delta-8 has not been tested or endorsed as safe for public consumption.”
Delta Products Regulation
The bill, S-3944, would clarify that modified, converted, or synthetically derived intoxicating THC isomers, and Delta-8 THC counts as THC under the state’s controlled and dangerous substance schedules.
It would be similar to other forms of what the State views as illegal since it is not purchased in a legally licensed store.
“Delta-8 THC is an unregulated, psychoactive hemp-derived product that is being sold at gas stations, pharmacies, and bodegas across New Jersey,” said O’Scanlon. “It’s the bathtub gin of the cannabis space. It’s being sold to kids. Without any of the restrictions or product safety regulations required under New Jersey’s recreational adult-use cannabis law.”
The bill revises the terms hemp and hemp product to specify that they cannot contain more than a 0.3 concentration of Delta-8 THC by weight.
In addition, the bill revises the terms “hemp” and “hemp product.” They cannot contain more than 0.3 percent of delta-8 THC by weight.
The companion legislation A5440 is sponsored by NJ Assemblymembers Paul Moriarty (D-Gloucester), Herb Conway, Jr. (D-Burlington), and Shanique Speight (D-Essex).
Previously only Moriarty was sponsoring it.
Sterley Stanley (D-Middlesex) is sponsoring it too. In addition, it passed the NJ Assembly Health Committee on June 5th 9-0 in a bipartisan vote.
Thus, it looks like it will become law sooner than later.
NJCBA Endorses Delta-8 Hemp Sales Ban Bill
The New Jersey CannaBusiness Association (NJCBA) endorsed S3944 banning Delta-8 hemp sales.
“It is shocking to see Delta-8 and other unregulated, untested cannabis products being sold at convenience stores and gas stations all across the State,” said NJCBA interim-President Scott Rudder. “The Delta-8 branded products that NJCBA members bought and had tested all had higher levels of THC than is legally permissible.”
He noted there was also an assortment of unknown chemicals not described on the label.
“We spent years in New Jersey trying to end stigmas and debunk false narratives around cannabis and cannabis culture. This was all done with the goal of establishing a safe, regulated market in New Jersey. Allowing access to Delta-8, particularly among children, completely undercuts that effort,” said noted cannabis attorney Bill Caruso.
Bad Delta Hemp Product Test Results
NJCBA members at separate locations across the state purchased Delta-8 products and brought them to laboratories for testing.
Test results showed the product’s chemical makeup did not match the label. It also indicated levels of THC that are not safe for child consumption. Yet Delta-8 products are currently available with no regulation.
The NJCBA said three of the four samples tested were grossly mislabeled. Products contained significant levels of different or additional cannabinoids than what the packaging indicated. In one sample, the label indicated only Delta-8 THC. Yet the test results showed that the product also contained Delta-9 THC, CBD, CBN, and four other identified cannabinoids. That was in addition to 15 unidentified compounds.
The four vape samples contained levels of delta-9 THC exceeding 1.0% by weight. The threshold set by the USDA Farm Bill is 0.3%. Unfortunately, farmers have had many problems complying with such a low number.
“All of these products are federally illegal,” said Sarah Ahrens of True Labs for Cannabis.
“The lack of enforcement by FDA, DEA, state and local law enforcement enables many more form factors of these Delta-8 products than just vapes,” said Brett Goldman, chair of the NJCBA Hemp Committee. “Some of these products are thought to be 10, 20, 50x more potent than Delta-9 THC. They are being sold in gas stations and c-stores across the country.”
It will be interesting to see this implemented. Even if some comply with the ban, some will just be unlicensed cannabis dispensaries.