Missouri Issues Health Advisory on Hemp-Sourced Cannabinoids

Residents of Missouri are being warned against the purchase and consumption of products that contain cannabinoids derived from hemp. This isn’t the first time the state’s health and senior services department has warned Missourians of the dangers of these cannabinoids.

Recently, the department reported a substantial increase in poisonings linked to marijuana consumption. The consumption of cannabinoids derived from hemp can cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, cognitive impairment, loss of consciousness, tremors, hallucinations, anxiety and, in rare cases, death.

By their name, one can deduce that these compounds are processed from hemp and contain psychoactive compounds. The compounds include delta-6 THC, delta-8 THC, delta-10 THC, THC-A, delta-11 THC, THC-P, THC-O, THC-JD,THC-V, HHC, HXC, HHC-P and PHC.

Reportedly, processing the hemp to extract these compounds may involve the use of toxic acids and solvents, which may still be present in the final product.

While the crop is federally legal and regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, its oversight comes to an end once the crop is harvested. Cannabinoids derived from hemp are unregulated and untested, which means no safety controls exist to determine whether contaminants are present.

At the moment, marijuana-related substances are classified as either cannabis and marijuana, pharmaceutical cannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids or intoxicating cannabinoids derived from hemp. Under Missouri law, cannabis and marijuana are permitted for recreational use for individuals aged 21 years and older if they are procured at a licensed dispensary. The legal possession limit currently stands at three ounces of marijuana at a time.

Voters in the state legalized the drug’s recreational use in 2022 via a ballot initiative dubbed Amendment 3, becoming the 21st state in the country to do so. Licensed sales began the following year in February.

As of November 2023, statewide sales had hit $950 million. This is huge, especially if one factors in the 6% state tax imposed on recreational marijuana in addition to sales taxes. The recreational market is expected to grow, as its job market also expands.

Pharmaceutical products can only be purchased by prescription, after voters in the state legalized the medical use of marijuana for qualifying conditions via a ballot initiative dubbed Amendment 2.

Medical marijuana patients are allowed to be in possession of no more than six ounces of marijuana per 30-day period. It is important to note that the state’s medical cannabis program charges a $26.50 fee to process an individual’s medical card application. Upon approval, the card shall be valid for three years. On the other hand, synthetic cannabinoids are considered illegal in Missouri.

Many other jurisdictions, such as where companies such as Green Thumb Industries Inc. (CSE: GTII) (OTCQX: GTBIF) have operations, are grappling with businesses selling intoxicants made from hemp. State and federal authorities are working to regulate these products so that public health is protected.

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