Lawsuit argues Virginia's new hemp law violates federal law

The top 10 hemp growing states include Colorado, Arizona, California, Kentucky, Michigan, New York and Florida, along with Oregon, Illinois and North Carolina.
Posted at 5:51 AM, Sep 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-08 05:51:44-04

NORFOLK, Va. — Virginia's new hemp law violates the federal 2018 Farm Act, a newly filed lawsuit argues.

Northern Virginia Hemp and Agriculture LLC, a woman named Rose Lane, and Franny's Operations, Inc. filed the lawsuit on Sept. 1 in the Eastern District Court of Virginia.

The lawsuit names the state of Virginia, Gov. Glenn Youngkin, other state officials, and Commonwealth's Attorneys as defendants.

Virginia hemp industry worried about proposed THC limits

On July 1, a new law took effect in Virginia 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.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs argue products that were legalized in the 2018 Farm Act, which was signed into law by former President Donald Trump, are now illegal under the state law.

The Farm Act removed hemp, a form of cannabis, from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act.

Since then, stores around the country began selling hemp products, like Delta 8 THC and CBD.

Supporters of Virginia's law, including Gov. Youngkin, have said the intent is to keep intoxicating products out of the hands of children and have sought to limit them from being sold.

Among the plaintiffs is Northern Virginia Hemp and Agriculture LLC (NOVA Hemp), a retail store in Marshall that was selling hemp products but says due to the new law, 95-percent of what they were selling is now considered illegal.

Rose Lane is a resident of Virginia who was using hemp products to help with arthritis, among other issues.

Franny's Operations Inc. operates a store in Warrenton and says they've suffered a 90-percent loss in sales since the law took effect.

The lawsuit seeks to prevent Virginia from enforcing the state law.

News 3 reached out to Gov. Youngkin's office for a response, but did not get a response yet. This story will be updated if a response is provided.



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