MJBiz - March/April 2024 - 34

Marijuana
Masquerade
The Dispensary in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, has sister outlets in three other states. Photo courtesy of The DIspensary
However, the Virginia stores still
receive THCA flower and hempderived
cannabinoid products from
Wisconsin. Virginia consumers
looking to purchase these items
must visit The Dispensary's
Wisconsin-based online store to
see what THCA or hemp-derived
cannabinoid products the Virginia
store has in stock. The consumer in
Virginia can then buy the product
from the online store in Wisconsin
and pick up their order a few
minutes later at the Virginia store.
" We can't sell in every state due
to restrictions. But because our
products are federally compliant,
we are allowed to ship products, "
Nething said.
LEGAL CONFUSION
Whether THCA flower is federally
compliant depends on a number
of factors, including plant
degradation, when and how that
flower was tested and who is
interpreting the rules. (See " THCA
Testing Controversy? " )
When the testing occurs is
important because the U.S.
Department of Agriculture requires
that cannabis be tested for " total
THC " -meaning THC and THCA
combined-while the plants are " in
production. " Specifically, plants
must be tested within the 30 days
before harvest.
The USDA does not, however,
require testing after flower has been
packaged or at the retail level, said
Heidi Urness, the Seattle-based cochair
of the cannabis practice group
at the McGlinchey Stafford law firm.
As long as pre-combustion delta-9
THC levels are beneath the federal
limit of 0.3%, the product qualifies
as federally legal hemp, she said.
Under those USDA rules, retailers
in states without marijuana
markets-such as North Carolina,
Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin-can
sell flower as federally compliant
34 March-April 2024 | MJBizMagazine
hemp, even though high amounts
of THCA will become THC upon
combustion.
" When you get to the retail side,
is it legal to sell? This is an academic
debate. Folks like myself, we say yes.
Under federal law, it's OK to sell at
that point because we are limited
only to the delta-9 THC definition.
THCA is not delta-9, " Urness
explained.
Those same USDA rules, however,
largely prohibit growing cannabis if
its total THC level can't stay beneath
the 0.3% hemp threshold. Total THC
is defined as:
% delta-9 THC + (% THCA x 0.877)
So, if a plant has 0.1% THC and 10%
THCA, its total THC would be 8.8%,
or 8.7% THCA plus 0.1% THC.
TESTING MANIPULATION?
Many cultivators say they are able to
get away with growing high-THCA
flower by finding strains that don't
express the THCA cannabinoid until

MJBiz - March/April 2024

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MJBiz - March/April 2024 - Cover1
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