In an age where new forms of hemp-derived THC are popping up regularly, the US state of New Hampshire has drawn a clear line in the sand.
A loophole in the federal definition of hemp has enabled the proliferation of products containing variants such as Delta-8 THC, quite often available from convenience stores and gas stations with little restriction on access. While hemp, by legal definition, is naturally low in the intoxicating cannabinoid delta-9 THC, non-intoxicating cannabidiol extracted from hemp can be manipulated to create other forms of it.
The situation has caused serious concern in some states, which have taken steps ranging from tighter regulation to outright banning of such products.
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signing HB 611 into law earlier this week makes it pretty clear where the state stands on the issue. It states:
“Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize the sale of products that are derived from hemp which contain natural or synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) greater than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis, which appear in any formulation, including delta-8 THC, delta-9 THC, or any other THC isomer variant.”
But HB 611 wasn’t just about getting a better handle on the hemp-derived THC situation. It’s also going to make it a little easier for severe pain patients to access medical cannabis. Among the bill’s other actions is the removal of the requirement that severe pain be resistant to other treatment options – such as opioid medicines – in order to be considered a qualifying condition for New Hampshire’s Therapeutic Cannabis Program, which was established in 2013.
Furthermore, HB 611 directs the Establishing of a commission to study state-controlled sales of adult-use cannabis.
Commenting on his signing of HB 611 into law, Governor Sununu stated:
“New Hampshire has an opportunity to safely regulate the sale of marijuana with a model few others can provide,” he said. “By establishing a commission to study state-controlled sales, this bill will bring stakeholders from across New Hampshire together to ensure that preventing negative impacts upon kids remains our number one priority.”
The full text of HB 611 can be found here.