HomeNewsSouth Carolina's Hemp Cannabinoid Tussle Continues

South Carolina’s Hemp Cannabinoid Tussle Continues

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has issued a warning letter concerning the use of hemp-derived cannabinoids as food ingredients.

The state’s Attorney General’s Office issued an opinion letter on Delta 8 and other forms of THC in 2021, calling them illegal. Subsequent actions, such as a letter from Columbia’s Police Department to local businesses, have supported that view. But if you run a search on delta-8 THC in South Carolina, you’ll see conflicting information.

The DHEC has weighed in on the issue, releasing a warning letter late last month concerning the use of hemp derived ingredients in food and stating the following – among others – are not permitted:

  • Pure CBD Isolate
  • Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, or Delta-10 THC
  • THC-0 or any other derivative
  • “Full spectrum” whole-plant extract if it includes health claims, or notes the presence of THC or CBD.

Also prohibited are any hemp or hemp-derived product that promotes claimed medical or health benefits.

However, industry can utilise “full spectrum” whole-plant extract as an ingredient in food and beverage products under certain conditions. Among these are that it contains the naturally occurring ratios and array of phytonutrients found in hemp. The product may not contain health claims, nor any sort of declaration of “THC”, “CBD”, or “Delta-9” products or isolates. Furthermore, the extract must contain no more than 0.3% Delta-9 THC.

DHEC warns that failure to comply with the requirements outlined the letter will result in regulatory action being taken.

“… our obligation under the requirements of both federal and state law is to remove from commerce all food and beverage products containing non-conforming hemp-derived products as ingredients,” says DHEC.

Hemp products that may be legally marketed in human foods and are approved to be used as ingredients in food and beverage products are hulled (shell removed) hemp seed, protein sourced from the seed and hemp seed oil. The seed contains only traces of cannabinoids; which are mostly concentrated in the flower.

In other cannabis news from the state, a South Carolina medical marijuana bill (the Compassionate Care Act) was given the green light from state senators on Wednesday, and it is now over to the House for discussion.

Terry Lassitenaz
Terry Lassitenaz writes exclusively for Hemp Gazette and has done so since the site launched in 2015. He has a special interest in the political arena relating to medical cannabis, particularly in Australia, and addressing the many myths surrounding this incredibly useful plant. You can contact Terry here.

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