HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — It can get you high, and right now it is legal in Pennsylvania. It’s called Delta-8 and can be made from hemp. Today a Pennsylvania lawmaker unveiled a plan to ban the product.
“The point is really to protect people,” said Senator Judy Schwank (D-Berks).
Senator Schwank is a big proponent of hemp and was one of the first lawmakers to introduce legislation to bring it back to Pennsylvania. The federal government legalized the growth of hemp in 2018. Under the Federal Agriculture Improvement Act, hemp is defined as a cannabis plant that contains 0.3% delta-9 THC or less, which is considered too low to have a psychoactive effect.
“What they didn’t realize is that this Delta-8 is out there and that it could be extracted from CBD and create a similar high,” Sen. Schwank said. “It is sold in a way and marketed in a way to appeal to kids with flavors like lemon haze, blue skittles, and strawberry shortcake.”
Products range from gummies, tinctures, and vapes.
“It is produced synthetically using caustic chemicals, which can make and have been making people sick, that’s how it was brought to my attention. I had a couple of parents reach out to me about one of their children purchasing this and then also getting ill. I contacted law enforcement and they had the same experience,” Sen. Schwank said.
The senator is proposing legislation, along with Senator Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia), that would outlaw products containing Delta-8.
“I am really hopeful that we are able to get some of these products that are already on the shelves in Pennsylvania stores off the market voluntarily. I think people need to understand the danger that it presents. We are talking about legalizing marijuana in Pennsylvania, but this is a separate issue,” Sen. Schwank said.
Fifteen states have already banned the sale of Delta-8.