Regulations on hemp products could soon be tougher in Va.

A bill that would toughen regulations on hemp-based products that contain THC — the part of cannabis that can get you high — has passed both chambers of Virginia’s General Assembly, and is headed to Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

The goal of HB 2294 is to crack down on largely unregulated THC products, including edibles often on shelves at gas stations and convenience stores.

The bill, which was introduced by House of Delegates Majority Leader Terry Kilgore, a Republican from Scott County, requires all businesses selling “an industrial hemp extract or food containing an industrial hemp extract,” to have a permit with the state.

The products can only contain up to 0.3% THC and up to two milligrams of THC per package, according to the bill.

Opponents to the bill, including those associated to the Virginia Cannabis Association, say the two-milligram-per-package restriction is far below the five milligrams accepted as the industry standard for edibles, and would force hemp businesses in Virginia to close or move to other states.

Violations of the proposed law could lead to fines of up to $10,000 per day.

In 2021, Gov. Ralph Northam, Virginia became the first southern state to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. However, under the proposed law, retail marijuana sales will remain illegal.

Currently, the state’s medical cannabis program is the only legal way to buy marijuana.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2023 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up