RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Some businesses across Virginia are being hit with big fines after a new law went into effect regulating the hemp industry last month.
The new law, which went into effect on July 1, makes it illegal to sell edible hemp product with more than 0.3% THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Plus, if the product has more than two milligrams of THC, it must have 25 times the amount of CBD, a non-intoxicating ingredient.
8News obtained documents through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). The documents show that between July 1 and July 31, the department conducted inspections at seven stores across the commonwealth to make sure businesses were following the new regulations for hemp products. VDACS found violations at all seven stores.
One store in Gate City, which is near Bristol, had the largest fine at $97,500. This fine, along with fines coming from the six other stores, brought the total fine amount to $221,500.
At the seven stores, 137 hemp products were deemed to be in violation of the new law. Thirty-five products contained more than 0.3% THC and 48 contained more than two milligrams of THC without the proper ratio of CBD.
Other violations included products not being in child-resistant packaging. Some products, including a Berry Crunch and Cinnamon Cereals Bars sold at the store in Gate City, violated the law’s provision that prevents a product containing THC from bearing any significant likeness to another manufacturer’s product.
If a store removes the illegal products and agrees to other rules set forth by VDACS , their fine will be reduced to no more than $10,000.