VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A bill that would add packing and testing requirements, as well as restrictions for the amount of THC companies in Virginia could have in their hemp-based products, passed both the House of Delegates and state Senate Friday afternoon.
The conference version of House Bill 2294, which would cap the amount of THC companies in the state could have in their hemp-based products at two milligrams, passed the House 85-9 and the Senate 23-17. THC is the chemical that results in the high feeling from cannabis.
Veg Out Organics is a hemp skincare company based out of Virginia Beach and pride themselves on their organic products. Co-owner Brad Wynne said a clause in the bill requiring bittering chemicals in his products to reduce the effects of the THC in them would render their organic properties almost useless.
“The THC cap is a problem, and what affects really us is they want us to put bittering agents, toxic chemicals into topicals because they think people will take these cleansers, moisturizers and chug it – eat it for the little bit of THC, which doesn’t make any sense,” Wayne said.
He thinks some of the lawmakers behind the bill misunderstand the difference between hemp and marijuana. He said while marijuana is high in THC and low in the chemical CBD, hemp is the opposite, being high in CBD with a very low percentage of THC.
State Sen. Emmett Hanger sponsored the bill and said the main aim was to protect people, specifically children, from Delta-8, a chemical added to CBD in a lab meant to increase the effects of THC. Delta-8, if made improperly, could pose health risks.
“I think we have to look at consumer safety and, in this instance, children, health and safety is more paramount to somebody making a couple of dollars off of selling a product that can be dangerous,” Hanger said.
Katie Wynne, Veg Out Organics co-owner, pleaded with Gov. Glenn Youngkin to understand that all of their products are natural, not poisonous.
“You’re gonna put hemp farmers, growers, processers, businesses all out of business,” Katie Wynne said. “I know it’s a vote to some of them but four us, it’s our livelihood.”
The bill will now go to Youngkin’s desk where, if signed, will go into effect July 1.