Virginia business fined as Commonwealth cracks down on hemp products

Hemp Crackdown
Posted at 2:20 PM, Aug 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-04 14:21:26-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — The owner of Chesapeake Tobacco & Vape faces a $13,000 fine for not following the state's new law adding regulations to hemp-derived products, according to the notice sent to the business by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

In total, seven business received notices across Virginia as of July 31, VDACS said.

VDACS said Chesapeake Tobacco & Vape's fine could be reduced to $6,500 if the business owner signs a consent resolution and gets up to code within 30 days.

During an inspection last week, VDACS reported finding five products that were not in compliance with state law, including Delta 8 THCdrink enhancer.

A new law took effect July 1, adding regulations to hemp-derived products and essentially banning intoxicating products, like Delta 8 THC.

The new requirements call for increased labeling and set a 25:1 ratio for the amount of non-intoxicating CBD compared to intoxicating THC that the products must follow.

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"We keep saying that we are throwing the baby out with the bath water on this one," said Jason Amatucci, the president of the Virginia Hemp Coalition, who has been critical of the law.

Amatucci has said he understands the need for some regulations, but argues the law is too broad and hurts small businesses.

"They are going after good, reputable businesses that you have good wellness products for folks," he said. "They're kind of just going across the board with these heavy-handed authoritarian tactics."

Supporters of the law, including Gov. Youngkin, have said the intent is to keep intoxicating products out of the hands of children.

"I think we did a very good job with the legislation to make sure that CBD products are available, but there's still a limitation on synthetic THC content in those products," Youngkin said in March.

The owner of Chesapeake Tobacco & Vape said he did not want to comment and said he had sent the notice he received to an attorney.

Amatucci is hoping lawmakers will once again review the issue next year after this fall's elections when every General Assembly seat is on the ballot.

He also expects a lawsuit to be filed.

"The bottom line is we have to get people in the General Assembly who are going to do the work to get a regulated intoxicating cannabis market and also a regulated non-intoxicating hemp market out there as well," said Amatucci.



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