Understanding Virginia’s Cannabinoid Ban (Including Delta-8) and Why it Matters for Every American
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Understanding Virginia’s Proposed Cannabinoid Ban (Including Delta-8) and Why it Matters for Every American
Article updated August 18, 2022
JD McCormick, president of the American Healthy Alternatives Association, talks to ACS Laboratory about Virginia’s aggressive cannabinoid bans, effectively killing 90% of hemp market sales, and how other states are at risk of similar legislation.
JD McCormick, president of the American Healthy Alternatives Association, is on a mission to ensure all Americans have access to legal hemp and cannabis for therapeutic and personal use. He oversees nine state chapters, including Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Utah, and Nebraska, which include lobbyists and advocates working tirelessly for plant freedom. While operating in various jurisdictions, McCormick’s biggest fight today is in Virginia.
In this interview, McCormick explains that various state legislatures have proposed bans on minor cannabinoids – namely Delta-8 and Delta-10 – in the last three months. However, Virginia’s proposed rules are by far the most egregious. On April 11, Virginia politicians presented amendments to the governor to update a prior hemp bill.
If the governor signs, the new amendments will effectively eradicate all minor cannabinoid products derived from hemp. Virginia’s amendments threaten the free trade of federally legal THC isomers, hurting farmers, small businesses, and of course law-abiding adults who seek autonomy over what they put in their bodies.
Fortunately, McCormick and his team of grassroots advocates intend to ensure these products stay legal in Virginia and throughout the country. Under McCormick’s leadership, American Healthy Alternatives went to extraordinary lengths to change the governor’s mind before the April 27 deadline.
Watch This 30-Minute Interview With McCormick to Learn About:
- American Healthy Alternatives Association’s core mission and beliefs.
- Virginia’s proposed legislation and how exactly it seeks to ban Delta-8, Delta-10, THCOa and nearly all minor cannabinoids.
- Why the legislation is so historical and the impact it will have on consumers and farmers if passed.
- The powerful forces behind Virginia’s proposed cannabinoid ban and why.
- Similar proposed cannabinoid bans in Georgia and Tennessee.
- Which states have the most open and accepting Delta-8 laws.
- American Healthy Alternatives Association’s work to keep Delta-8 federally legal before the Farm Bill reopens in 2023.
- JD’s perspective on whether Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee and the US Government will ultimately ban or allow the free trade of THC isomers.
August 18, 2022 Update:
In August, we sat down with JD McCormick for an update on Virginia’s legal landscape. After collaborating with Virginia’s senators for months, JD and American Healthy Alternatives Association succeeded in protecting cannabinoid freedom.
In fact, Virginia senators voted in a landslide 40-0 vote against adding language that would effectively ban several hemp derivatives. Total Delta-9 THC limit remains less than .3%. Delta-8, Delta-10 and other minor cannabinoids remain protected for at least another year.
That said, Virginia lawmakers agreed to a set of amendments protecting children, IP infringement, and human health.
Senators distilled new regulations into four key areas:
- Age restrictions – Virginia raised the age of hemp cannabinoid consumption to 21 years old.
- Packaging – State legislature created rules requiring child-resistant packaging.
- Marketing restrictions – Hemp brands cannot market products in any way that could appeal to kids.
- IP Infringement – Hemp product packaging cannot mimic other brands, such as creating Delta-8 infused treats that look like Skittles.
- Delta-8 edibles ban - VDACS (Virginia department of agriculture and consumer services) banned Delta-8 edibles, calling them “adulterated.”
To implement the new hemp rules, Virginia’s lawmakers set up a task force with legislative appointees, members of the Department of Agriculture, state representatives, stakeholders, and law enforcement.
Overall, Virginia’s hemp program updates served as a win for advocates and for regulators alike. McCormick hopes the outcome will serve as a standard for other states as the industry evolves.
If you’re a hemp brand doing business in Virginia, consider exploring American Healthy Alternatives’ Virginia legislative guide to learn how to operate compliantly in the state.
Our Favorite JD Quotes:
“This is the first time in modern American history that consumers and small business owners can freely trade THC products, and we cannot let that slip out of our fingers.”
“The real rub here is that these products are federally legal, and tens of thousands of small businesses all across the United States have been selling them for years. The legislatures that are trying to change these laws are seemingly changing the rules halfway through the game.”
“If I'm being frank, if I'm being candid, Virginia’s recommended amendments are horrible... Possibly the worst thing to happen in cannabis policy in the United States, bar none, full stop, in the last 5 years.”
“Let’s say someone is driving to Baltimore from Georgia and they pass through Virginia carrying a Delta-8 or cannabinoid product. The new ban [if passed] will make that person a criminal.”
“My mentor used to say to me, ‘son, remember this, if not you, who? And if not now when?’ And so that quote dictates a lot of what I do. If I see that there's a need, a job to be done, a gap to be filled, if not me who? And if not now when? So, I saw a lot of these states on fire. I saw a lot of friends of mine needing help. And so, I built out state associations for them.”