A federal judge in Northern Virginia on Monday denied an attempt to block a recently enacted state law that imposed stricter limits on intoxicating hemp products, the Virgnia Mercury reports. In the opinion, U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema said the state “demonstrated that delta-8 THC is a credible threat to the Virginia population.”
“…There is a strong public interest in protecting the citizens of the commonwealth from substances like delta-8, including a vulnerable population, such as children, from hospitalizations and poisonings. The decision to advance that interest was done by the elected policymakers of Virginia, and this court must defer to those political and social welfare judgements.” — Brinkema in the decision
The plaintiffs, which include Virginia hemp businesses, argued in the lawsuit that Virginia had overstepped its authority to regulate hemp in a way that conflicted with federal law and interfered with interstate commerce. Brinkema disagreed, writing that federal hemp laws do not mandate “that the substance must be legal in every state.”
“Nor does it mean that Congress has mandated that any product that simply includes industrial hemp as one ingredient or derivative among many must be legalized by every state legislature,” she wrote.
The decision denies the plaintiffs’ request for an injunction against the law and the laws will remain in place while the lawsuit moves forward.
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