GRAY, Tenn. (WJHL) — A week after Gov. Bill Lee signed comprehensive legislation regulating the sale of hemp-derived cannabinoids like Delta-8, Tri-Cities hemp sellers say they’re glad to see rules come into an industry that’s been largely unregulated.
“Before it was almost like we were kind of operating in a loophole,” The Laboratory Co-Owner Ashton Smyth told News Channel 11.
Delta-8 and products like it are derived from hemp and give a high similar to marijuana, however, they’ve faced less regulation than marijuana, leading to uncertainty about the product’s safety.
Now, state law will require sellers to obtain a license for all THC products by January 2024 and require product testing to ensure customer safety.
Gold Spectrum CBD founder Zack Green packs cannabinoids like Delta-8 into vapes and other products out of a Gray warehouse and sells them at stores across the Southeast.
He told News Channel 11 this new law puts Tennessee in a leading position when it comes to Delta 8.
“No state besides Tennessee has given such a green light on the hemp industry and such good regulations,” said Green. “We truly believe that these are the best business practices that they’re putting forward on this.”
Green says he already tests his products and marks them with a QR code, allowing customers to find more detailed information online.
“By requiring registration with the state requiring certificate of analysis of what’s inside the product, and batch testing, I think we’ll clean up a lot of the junk that’s out there,” said Green. “Then people will have a quality product that they can feel safe about.”
In Kingsport, The Laboratory co-owners Adam Stalling and Ashton Smyth agree, product testing is a worthwhile investment.
The pair also manufacture THC products in Colonial Heights and test them with the Department of Agriculture, something all manufacturers will have to start doing.
“We have outstanding scores with it and we work very closely with them and what that ensures is that we’re giving you accurately-dosed, good, effective, and safe products,” said Stalling.
Far from being afraid of more rules, Staling says he hopes regulating the sale of Delta-8 will open the door for marijuana legalization.
“It’s definitely a win towards the ultimate goal, you know, which is wide legalization of the cannabis industry,” said Stalling.