Elsa Olofsson

Cannabis Business Association of Illinois Calls for Delta-8 Ban

The largest cannabis trade association in Illinois is calling for lawmakers to ban the sale of hemp-derived delta-8 THC products as the products — which are currently unregulated — compete directly with the state’s cannabis operators.

Full story after the jump.

The Cannabis Business Association of Illinois (CBAI) is calling for lawmakers to ban the sale of products containing hemp-derived delta-8 THC, according to a Capitol News Illinois report.

Cannabis businesses argue that the unregulated delta-8 market is in direct competition with the state’s heavily regulated cannabis industry, putting the state-licensed stores in jeopardy.

“It is deeply disheartening and, frankly, a betrayal by the state to allow these shops to pop up and call themselves dispensaries.” — Ron Miller, co-owner of Navada Labs and BLYSS Dispensary, in the report

CBAI Executive Director Tiffany Ingram said during a news conference on Thursday that the delta-8 products undercut the cannabis market and avoid the industry’s heavy taxes and regulatory restrictions. While she spoke, Ingram presented samples of delta-8 products acquired from unlicensed dispensaries whose packaging resembled mainstream candy and snack brands.

Filed on Thursday, Senate Bill 3926 seeks to ban the products by penalizing any business caught selling unregulated hemp cannabinoid products with a $10,000 fine. The bill would also create 50 new licenses for cannabis dispensaries and 50 new licenses for cannabis product manufacturers, and would establish a state task force to study the safety of delta-8 THC.

Ingram called the move more of a “pause” on delta-8 sales but many entrepreneurs in the hemp-derived cannabinoid market say the bill would amount to an outright ban, the report said.

Meanwhile, instead of the proposed delta-8 crackdown, state Reps. LaShawn Ford (D) and Lakesia Collins (D) are pushing to regulate delta-8 products to avoid shuttering Illinois businesses and pushing consumers toward illicit sources.

“We don’t want to regulate thousands of current businesses out of existence,” Collins said. “We want regulation, not termination, when jobs and opportunity are at stake, especially in Black and brown communities.”

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