MJBiz - March/April 2024 - 36

Marijuana
Masquerade
about what they perceive to be
unregulated-and potentially
dangerous-cannabis products
being too easily accessible to
underage users.
As a result, some states have
cracked down on or outright
banned hemp-derived cannabinoid
products, including California,
Connecticut, Georgia and Virginia.
" You are seeing states start to
crack down on this, " Urness said.
" I expect to see a lot of prohibitive
legislation proposed over the next
year in states that aren't already
using THC limits, if the federal
government does not address this in
some way.
" It's so important for companies
to act responsibly and transparently
and be up front with law enforcement.
You need to test and find
responsible labs. When you don't register
your business or don't test or use
sketchy labs is when the legislators
start cracking down, " she added.
Connecticut's attorney general
sued seven hemp-derived
cannabinoid businesses in January.
Meanwhile, Urness noted that
Georgia has had a thriving THCA
market, but two legislators drafted
bills " that are going to gut that
industry " by implementing a total
THC limit.
" It can go very quickly from a
legal free-for-all to being totally
prohibited under a 0.3% limit. You're
going to gut the industry just by that
one stroke of the pen, " she said.
California, Urness noted, sent
hundreds of cease-and-desist orders
to hemp-derived cannabinoid
businesses, and further action
is being taken against those that
haven't complied.
But while enforcement might
intensify in some places, many
businesses are willing to take the
risk. Despite all the cease-anddesist
letters that have been sent in
California, for example, prohibited
The Dispensary grows federally compliant hemp in Wisconsin.
Photo courtesy of The Dispensary
hemp-derived cannabinoid products
are still easy to find in stores.
" That is a risk that some folks are
taking, " Urness said.
LAW ENFORCEMENT
For The Dispensary's Nething, the
risk so far has panned out.
" We worked very closely with
law enforcement, " Nething
said. He explained that he gives
presentations to law enforcement
agencies about the products, how
they work and how the 2018 Farm
Bill essentially legalized hempderived
cannabinoids.
" We ran them through the
process, how it's made, and
they brought in all their drugrecognition
teams. So, we put it in
front of them before we even have it
on the shelf. We were talking to their
drug officers before we had the sign
on the building, " Nething said.
" We try and be in front of it rather
than be scared. "
Colt Power of Power Biopharms
in Texas agrees that working with
law enforcement is important
to the survival of hemp-derived
cannabinoid companies.
" We try to make ourselves as
36 March-April 2024 | MJBizMagazine
known as possible. We put a licensed
indoor cannabis farm in the middle
of Fort Worth. We're right next to a
strip club, where there's police all
the time, so we made it a point to
establish great relationships with
local authorities from the jump, "
Power said.
He added: " The THCA boom has
been fantastic for the hemp-derived
industry. It helped really show that,
within Texas and across the nation,
there's such a demand for these
products. "
Power does worry how much
longer the THCA flower market can
continue to operate as it does.
" States are establishing their own
licensed programs for medical and
rec, and it's hard to determine how
this is all going to land, " he said.
The solution, according to Chris
Hudalla, founder and chief science
officer at ProVerde Laboratories,
is to legalize marijuana at the
federal level.
" The poor regulation has
just created this nightmare of
ambiguity, " he said. " Regulators and
law enforcement don't know what to
do anymore. They're just confused
by it all. "

MJBiz - March/April 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBiz - March/April 2024

MJBiz - March/April 2024 - Cover1
MJBiz - March/April 2024 - Cover2
MJBiz - March/April 2024 - 3
MJBiz - March/April 2024 - 4
MJBiz - March/April 2024 - 5
MJBiz - March/April 2024 - 6
MJBiz - March/April 2024 - 7
MJBiz - March/April 2024 - 8
MJBiz - March/April 2024 - 9
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MJBiz - March/April 2024 - Cover3
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