Why are hemp farmers calling it quits after a few years of giving it a go in Virginia? As NBC 12 reports because the proposed regulatory impositions on the market are altering the business landscape. “Jacob Williamson grows, makes and sells hemp-based CBD products through his family’s Hens and Hemp farm. He went through the permitting process to be a hemp farmer when it became legal in 2019, but now he is leaving the industry”. Williamson represents many entrepreneurs concerned about the hemp industry with looming regulation in the balance NBC reports.
“Lawmakers passed (a bill) which redefines marijuana as any cannabis product with over .3% THC or .25 milligrams of THC per serving. That includes some non-intoxicating CBD products” The bill excludes hemp that is possessed by a person or company who holds a U.S. Department of Agriculture hemp producer license…if the THC level remains under .3%.
Realize that .3% is negligible and basically non-existent. Most CBD salves and edible products would be considered illegal. What about this Delta-8 stuff? NBC goes on to report “Many Delta-8 products, which are low in THC, are made in a lab because additional chemicals are needed to increase the amount of THC, according to industry website Cannabis Tech…The products get people buzzed, but still fall into a legal loophole”. However, little research has been done on this and the short and long-term effects are still in question. Many stores have been selling CBD and low-THC products throughout the state.
Well, what about cannabis? I know this is getting confusing. It does not have to be though. Unfortunately, Virginia lawmakers are making it so. The reality is “People who want to buy actual, high quantity THC marijuana can easily find it, despite the risk of prosecution. Some sellers offer delivery options and showcase product menus on social media. Many people began operating in those spaces when marijuana possession was decriminalized and in anticipation of the legal recreational market that many thought was green lit for 2024” as reported by NBC.
Illegal to Sell
However, “The bill that passed in 2021 needed to be reenacted in the 2022 session, but a House committee continued the bill to the next session next year, effectively killing the reenactment clause and likely the January 2024 start date for recreational sales”. The Roanoke News has reported in the past that sheriff’s offices and police departments have begun to focus on those entities in Virginia that are seeking to sell cannabis via storefronts and/or delivery.
To be clear, it is legal to possess cannabis in Virginia. However, it is not legal to sell cannabis. One can say the obvious dilemma in Virginia. How can I get cannabis if it is illegal to sell it?
I have been enjoying the answer to that question for some time. In Washington Dc there is a legal provision called Initiative 71. Like in Virginia, it is illegal to sell cannabis via a storefront. Operations doing so in Virginia and Washington DC are breaking the law. However, Initiative 71 allows for the transportation of cannabis and the “gifting” of cannabis within the DC city limits.
I subscribe to a Washington Dc Delivery Dispensary. I have been a member of Select Co-op for years. Living in Virginia I schedule my gifting appointment and meet my delivery driver within the city limits. Regardless of where you live in Virginia, or Maryland for that matter, I would take advantage of this simple solution. As we see, the laws in Virginia are quagmire to navigate…so I don’t, and just drive into DC.