Advocates Voice Concerns as Bill Restricting Hemp Clears Wyoming Senate, Heads to House

Last week, Senate File 32 completed its third reading in the Wyoming senate. The bill has now been forwarded to the state’s House of Representatives. From there, it will be forwarded to undergo committee review and then be debated on the floor. If no amendments are proposed, it will be advanced to the governor’s desk for his veto or approval.

This bill seeks to impose a limitation on psychoactive substances and would eliminate the ability of anyone to sell hemp products that contained HHCo, delta-10, delta-8 and other products with low THC content in the state. This puts independently owned hemp businesses at risk for closure and may also reduce access to this medicinal plant for many who rely on it.

Platte Hemp Company LLC owners, Alicia and Sam Watt, voiced their concerns about how the measure would affect their business. The Watts launched their hemp shop in December 2018, with their primary objective being to offer green alternatives to prescription drugs including opioids and cigarettes.

Sam, an Air Force veteran, also revealed that he used natural alternatives to manage his post-traumatic stress disorder. This, he said, was after the Veterans Administration (“VA”) prescribed narcotics to manage the condition, which only worsened when he mixed the drugs with alcohol.

During a recent interview, the Watts revealed that all their products were tested in a facility in California, adding that nothing was put on their website or shelves without clearance. They also highlighted that there was much to be learned about marijuana, but the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police refused to become educated and change their stance on marijuana.

Last year, a representative from the association gave a presentation on the impact cannabis had had on communities during a city council meeting in Rock Springs.

The Watts also revealed that since 2018, their business had paid more than $550,000 in sales tax revenue. They argued that the senators weren’t seeing the bigger picture because this move wouldn’t help the state’s tax revenue.

Hemp was legalized in 2019 through a farm bill. This measure permits the purchase, possession, use and transportation of hemp and hemp products by any individual without restriction. The bill does note that the level of THC in these products should not exceed 0.3%.

Based on this house bill, the state of Wyoming shouldn’t be able to do this, as a billion-dollar operations will be destroyed in the process if Senate File 32 is approved.

The concerns being raised in Wyoming about synthetic cannabinoids mirror the issues that other jurisdictions like those in which cannabis companies such as Cresco Labs Inc. (CSE: CL) (OTCQX: CRLBF) currently operate.

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