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  • Is hemp unregulated?
    Hemp businesses are still businesses like any other and are subject to all relevant laws that govern businesses that sell consumable products. When people say hemp is unregulated, it's spin. They mean hemp is not subject to the same regulations as state marijuana industries.
  • Does hemp contain dangerous synthetic THC intoxicants?
    There is no evidence indicating hemp derivatives are any more dangerous than caffeine or aspirin. According to the USDA Office of the General Counsel (OGC), all cannabinoids found naturally in hemp including THC are not controlled substances [1]. The word “synthetic” has a specific legal meaning and can not be used to accurately describe hemp according to the DEA [2]. Hemp, intoxicant or not, is not a controlled substance and should not be regulated as such.
  • Are consumers confused about the hemp industry?
    Most consumers are not confused. They are happy that they don't have to participate in the state marijuana industry to access THC derived from hemp. Consumers of hemp have a wider variety of product choices as well as more numerous and convenient locations where they can purchase them. The confusion seems to be a result of the state marijuana industry’s lack of comprehension when it comes to federal law. It’s a reaction rooted in justifying sunk-cost fallacy and it demonstrates an implicit position that cannabis prohibition must exist to preserve state marijuana programs and license holders investments.
  • Does the packaging of hemp products threaten children?
    Common examples of this are hemp products that mimic popular snacks like Fritos corn chips which some people suggest kids could easily confuse with the real thing. Obviously this is a misbranded product which should not be sold due to infringement, not because it’s designed to trick unsuspecting minors. The reality is even with an already illegal copy-cat picture on the label, no minors are going to accidentally buy an unusually small bag with 10 chips in it that costs $20.
  • Is there no guarantee what's in the package of a hemp product?
    Consumer protection laws, food drug and cosmetic acts, etc. create civil and criminal penalties against misbranded products and the businesses that sell them. The 2018 Farm Bill did not exempt hemp businesses from complying with all existing regulations related to businesses that sell products intended for human consumption.
  • Does hemp need to establish identical regulations to marijuana?
    State marijuana industries are largely unpopular with a majority of citizens and should not be expanded. Applying similar regulations to the hemp industry will damage established businesses and is unnecessary because hemp is not a schedule 1 controlled substance.
  • Is delta 8 created through a chemical process that amplifies the potency of hemp?
    This is not accurate. Statements like these are intended to elicit fear about naturally occurring, federally legal, substances that are not controlled by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Descriptions like this are pushing an agenda using "alternate facts".
  • Are hemp products more psychoactive than what the marijuana dispensaries can sell?
    Any limits placed on the milligrams of cannabinoids allowed in packages in state marijuana industries are arbitrary and unreasonable. It should not be the benchmark for safety as there is no factual basis for adoption.
  • Have researchers found products that were well over the legal limits of THC and the hemp products as dictated by federal law?
    Some research studies have been conducted regarding cannabinoid content of hemp products. Many are not validated and follow other questionable academic practices including flawed testing methods, not disclosing sources of funding, or not declaring author’s conflicts of interest. One recently published paper quoted by journalists confidently concludes, “...THC products (both edible and plant) pose a clear danger to public consumers…” while also admitting, “The analyses performed were not fully validated and are meant to be informational only.” [3]. The author does not disclose that they serve on Cresco’s board of advisors.
  • Does Illinois need to halt sales of these products and so health and policy experts can study them in more depth?
    Experts have had over 5 years to study since hemp became widespread through the 2018 Farm Bill. Technically, hemp industry research was kicked off by the 2014 Farm Bill. Hemp is best left to policy experts at the federal level.
  • Would additional legislation and regulations at the state level help to empower consumers of hemp products?
    Further attempts to regulate hemp at the state level are designed to enable a massive transfer of wealth away from small businesses in the broad and equitable hemp industry to the few who own state marijuana licenses. It is a direct attack on the spirit of a free market and the rights granted to citizens by the United States of America.
  • Is the state marijuana industry undermined by hemp products?
    Sunk-cost fallacy is clearly a major component of the marijuana industry hemp regulation agenda and using public health as a rallying cry is a devious way to gain political traction. The marijuana industry is seeking to protect their interests more than anything else.
  • Is the state marijuana industry safer than hemp because it has limits on milligrams of cannabinoids per serving and per package?
    The limit on the milligrams of cannabinoids allowed per package in the marijuana industry is arbitrary and unreasonable. It should not be the benchmark for safety as there is no scientific basis for adoption.
  • Does the state marijuana industry also sell Delta 8 or similar hemp-derived THC products?
    Yes, you can find these products in Illinois dispensaries.
  • Is hemp destroying the marijuana industry?
    Hyper regulation and punitive taxation are destroying the marijuana industry. Hemp is the latest scapegoat for the marijuana industry’s woes. Lack of strong leadership, poor management, low quality products, limited consumer choices, and high prices are destroying the marijuana industry.
  • Are bad actors everywhere in the hemp industry?
    No. A vast majority of hemp businesses operate safely and provide consistent products to their customers every day.
  • Why are people saying they don’t want to criminalize hemp, they just want to regulate it?
    Such regulations come with exclusions, bans, taxes, fines, and other strong penalties that fall just short of criminalization. Technically they are correct. Effectively, the strategy is the same.
  • Why are people saying they don’t want to ban hemp, they just want a strategic pause?
    A pause is a ban. Forcing business owners to stop selling their most popular products for even one day is a ban. Any pause in sales is a direct harm to hemp businesses.
  • Would applying state marijuana industry regulations to hemp actually prevent people from accessing hemp-derived cannabinoids?
    Marijuana is a schedule 1 controlled substance which is why all of the hyperregulation and punitive taxation spawned around the industry. Hemp is not a controlled substance and therefore should not be subject to the same regulation.
  • If we enact new legislation for hemp regulations, who will benefit the most?
    The state marijuana industry, not the public, will benefit the most from additional regulation placed on hemp at the state level. This is why we’ve seen consistent efforts from marijuana industry participants and the legislators who receive contributions from them to introduce new regulations year after year.
  • Are children or adults getting sick from consuming hemp products, calling poison control and being admitted to the hospital?
    It’s a classic fearmongering tactic to assert that children are being harmed by something. The reality is that the market for products containing novel cannabinoids is measured in the billions of dollars while reports of adverse events number in mere hundreds. Even assuming adverse events are 10x underreported, this still indisputably indicates a high level of safety considering a standard 30mg dose of Delta-8 THC currently costs consumers less than a dollar across all popular product categories.
  • Is it a loophole that all of these hemp products are available online, in corner stores, and gas stations?
    The 2018 Farm Bill is explicitly clear that hemp is not a controlled substance and states shall not prohibit interstate commerce. It’s not a loophole, it’s clearly defined.
  • Why are people claiming hemp is a public safety risk? How long has it been at risk?
    It’s a tactic to distract from the systemic issues the marijuana industry faces. Hemp-derived cannabinoids like Delta-8-THC have been widely available for years and are proving to have a remarkably low risk safety profile.
  • Is it unfair that hemp products can be sold by anyone but marijuana license holders had to invest considerable resources and go through a difficult application and selection process to be able to sell marijuana?
    This is a classic case of state level regulations purposefully circumventing federal law in an attempt to capture additional tax revenue regardless of the consequences. Marijuana license holders were 100% aware of all the risks associated with participating in a complicated, expensive, and federally illegal program.
  • Shouldn’t we err on the side of caution since these products are widely available and we don’t have conclusive information about long term effects or contraindications?
    The same novel cannabinoids are being sold by hemp industry and marijuana industry businesses concurrently. The argument that the science isn't there yet did nothing to deter the proliferation of state level marijuana laws lack of research on cannabinoid consumption of all kinds is long-standing, well known, and ubiquitous across both marijuana and hemp industries and does not justify banning anything.
  • Can marijuana dispensaries use hemp flower or biomass purchased from licensed hemp growers or processors in their products?
    According to an extended Illinois Department of Agriculture policy effective as of March 29, 2023, cannabis business establishments licensed in Illinois may use industrial hemp as an ingredient in cannabis-infused products offered for sale at licensed dispensaries.
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