Washington State Lawmakers Considering Bills to Regulate or Ban Synthetic THC

Washington lawmakers are considering bills to both make illegal and regulate synthetic THC sales, including delta-8 THC.

Full story after the jump.

With about two weeks left in the state’s legislative session, Washington lawmakers are considering two bills to outlaw or regulate synthetic THC products, such as delta-8 THC, the Peninsula Daily News reports. Both bills have bipartisan support; one would ban the products entirely and the other would prohibit their sale outside of cannabis retailers but convene a scientific panel that may recommend ways to authorize their sale in the future.

Democratic state Sen. Karen Keiser, who is sponsoring the broad ban bill with Republican Mark Schoesler, told the Daily News that the unregulated synthetic cannabinoid products are “a public health danger and a threat, and it needs to be removed.”

Washington’s Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) last year barred all synthetically derived THC products from the state’s legal cannabis market over fears that competition from the cheap ingredients produced from hemp grown out of state would push many of the state’s licensed, regulated cannabis growers out of business, the report says, noting that at least 17 states have passed full bans in the past year.

LCB Chairman David Postman told the Daily News that the bills before the Legislature is the state’s “best, and perhaps only, chance this year to get the laws necessary to regulate the burgeoning world of the novel and minor cannabinoids.”

The move to implement a ban on the sale of synthetic cannabinoid products at non-cannabis retailers, such as gas stations and smoke shops, is backed by the Washington CannaBusiness Association. While there is some disagreement whether the products belong in the regulated cannabis market, the group is concerned whether the legislation would give the LCB authority over “impairing” cannabinoids without adequately defining what that means, which could create uncertainty for regulated businesses, the report says.

Neither bill has yet been considered by lawmakers.

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