South Dakota Bans Intoxicating Hemp Products including delta- THC products

Gov Noem has signed off on the following


South Dakota has outlawed intoxicating hemp products. Governor Kristi Noem signed a law aimed at eliminating all products containing synthetic compounds like delta-8 THC from the market. The law prohibits the production, sale, and distribution of “chemically modified or converted industrial hemp,” including delta-8 THC, delta-9 THC derived from hemp, delta-10 THC, THC-O-acetate, HHC, THCP, and any other THC isomer, analog, or derivative.

The law targets products such as gummies, vape pens, pre-rolled joints, and smokable flowers, often referred to as “diet weed” or “marijuana light.” These products have become widespread in South Dakota and across the U.S., exploiting loopholes in the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill.

All banned substances are synthetically produced, primarily by chemically processing CBD from hemp flowers. Health officials have warned that these compounds lack federal regulation and are essentially unregulated products. Some have shown inconsistent levels of intoxicants and contaminants, leading to instances of illness, hospital visits, and even a child’s death.

The 2018 Farm Bill, which federally legalized hemp and its derivatives, failed to account for synthetic, psychoactive products that can be derived from hemp flowers. The South Dakota law, which defines “chemically derived cannabinoids” as a chemical substance that alters the molecular structure of any substance derived from the cannabis plant, passed unanimously in the state House of Representatives in January and nearly unanimously in the Senate last month.

The law does not include cannabinoids extracted naturally, “non-psychoactive cannabinoids,” or “cannabinoids in a topical cream product.” It defines an “industrial hemp product” as a finished product made from industrial hemp with a total delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3%, derived from or produced by processing industrial hemp. Violators could face up to one year in jail, a $2,000 fine, or both.

Some stakeholders fear that the law could impact those who sell CBD extracts over-the-counter as health supplements, which typically only contain trace amounts of natural THC cannabinoids and are considered legal. Senator Ryan Maher unsuccessfully attempted to amend the law to restore an exemption for products containing only trace amounts of cannabinoids.

Most intoxicating hemp products on the South Dakota market were made out-of-state. South Dakota hemp growers primarily farm grain and fiber crops, making the state the second-largest hemp grower in 2022. Harvested fields increased 35% to 2,540 acres, up from 1,674 in 2021.

Last week, Noem also signed a bill removing the prohibition on law enforcement and other government agencies’ ability to “search, seize, prosecute, or impose disciplinary action” on the state’s medical cannabis businesses. The law includes provisions to protect dispensaries, cultivators, manufacturers, and testing laboratories.

Noem, a Republican, has a history of changing her stance on hemp but has leaned towards strict restrictions. In 2019, she vetoed a bill to legalize industrial hemp production in the state, suggesting it would be a first step towards legalizing recreational marijuana. She eventually dropped her opposition and signed a hemp bill in 2020.–thc-products/article_851aec78-ea34-11ee-9426-37044a125dfb.html

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