Drinks With THC Found A Way Around Connecticut’s Weed Laws

Drinks With Thc Found A Way Around Connecticut's Weed Laws

Connecticut lawmakers are making the last changes to a bill that would control the sale and strength of THC-infused drinks and other consumer goods made from hemp for the first time.

Medical and adult-use cannabis products are heavily controlled in the state. However, THC-containing hemp products that are meant to get you high have made their way onto store shelves and are sold to people of all ages.

The federal Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 and later state laws in Connecticut made it legal to grow hemp. This “loophole,” as state Attorney General William Tong and some lawmakers have called it, started the process.

Rep. Mike D’Agostino, D-Hamden, said that “let hemp producers in the state make products that have certain amounts of THC in them.” “I’m not sure if everyone understood at the time that these were THC products that made people feel high.” Unfortunately, that’s the law in Connecticut right now and it was the law before we approved cannabis.

The items, which include drinks with THC, edibles, oils, and concentrates made from the hemp plant, can be bought at CBD and package stores, convenience stores, supermarkets, and other shops right now. Certain bars and restaurants serve seltzers made from hemp.

People who make, sell, and buy seltzer were against the rules that were first suggested in House Bill 5150. These rules would have limited the products to 0.5 milligrams of THC per serving. The bill recently changed that limit to one milligram per serving, which means that package shops and cannabis dispensaries can sell it.

Joe Grabowski, co-owner of Bridgeport’s Sarene Craft Beer Distributors, told lawmakers that drinks made from hemp have helped his business stay profitable even though sales of alcoholic drinks have been going down.

Grabowski told the legislature’s General Law Committee, which brought the bill up, that they wanted to hire more people and build more facilities in 2024, but if this bill was passed as written, they would have to lay off people because their sales would not support the current hiring levels. “This can happen to any business, not just ours.” The whole drinking business is in trouble‚Ķ and some of this is because cannabis use is now allowed in this state.

But some cannabis businesses, which had to go through a tough application and lottery process to get licenses to sell THC goods, say that letting anyone else sell them is against the law.

Adam Wood, president of the Connecticut Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, said, “The cannabis industry would prefer to be the ones making, selling, and producing those drinks.” “There wouldn’t be any product on the market that is even remotely similar to what the regulated industry sells. That would pretty much wipe out the market for cannabis products.”

The newest version of the law doesn’t solve that problem, but it would only allow CBD and package stores, as well as cannabis dispensaries, to sell the different THC-infused hemp-based goods. All of the goods would also have to be tested and meet other rules similar to those that cannabis products have to follow.

“No more convenience stores, no more at your gas station, and no more kids can go buy them,” D’Agostino, who is co-chair of the General Law Committee, said. “If it’s going to happen, it will be strictly regulated.”

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