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Unregulated Delta-8 THC Products Face New Scrutiny in New Jersey and from the FDA and FTC

July 6, 2023

There is growing concern over hemp-derived THC and CBD products that can be commonly bought at gas stations, convenience stores, and smoke shops. These products are legal but completely unregulated after the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act. While these products may be legal at the federal level, states like New Jersey are taking steps to ban hemp-derived THC products specifically because they are unregulated and pose a potential threat to public health.

In June, a New Jersey State Assembly committee unanimously voted in favor of a bill that would effectively ban unregulated hemp-derived THC and CBD products from the state. The committee voted to move the bill to a vote in the legislature after compelling testimony from a parent whose child ingested 600 milligrams of Delta-8 THC after purchasing it legally, causing the child to feel “dizzy, paranoid, and disoriented.”

New Jersey State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth), a cosponsor of the proposed bill, pointed out that hemp-derived Delta-8 THC and CBD products have distinct regulatory differences from the legal cannabis sold at dispensaries. Some of the main differences include required testing for potency and contaminants, age requirements to purchase, and clear labeling to assist in dosing and accidental consumption by children. The bill would ban all consumable hemp-derived products from New Jersey instead of enacting quality and safety testing as well as age requirements to purchase those products.

This comes as the Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission issued new warnings to companies that sell copycat food products containing Delta-8 THC. These products mimic popular candy and snack brands that at best promote unintentional underage consumption and at worst target and market to children. It is important to monitor future developments of how state and federal government and their agencies decide to regulate consumable Delta-8 THC and other hemp-derived products moving forward.