Federal Judge Puts Hold On Arkansas Delta 8 THC Ban: What's Next In Legal Struggle

Last week, a federal judge stepped in to halt the implementation of an Arkansas law that intended to outlaw the sale of Delta 8 THC and other related products, reported THV11.

The enforcement of Act 629, a law passed during the 2023 legislative session and signed by Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders in April, prohibiting the sales and production of items containing Delta 8, Delta 9 and Delta 10, has been suspended by U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson's ruling.

Background

The lawsuit was initially filed in Arkansas federal court by a coalition of hemp product marketers in Colorado, Texas and Arkansas in July - the day before the act was slated to go into effect. Gov. Huckabee Sanders, AG Tim Griffin, Dept. of Finance and Administration, Tobacco Control Board, Dept. Agriculture, State Plant Board, as well as the prosecuting attorneys of the state's 28 judicial circuits, are all named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Products containing less than 0.3% dry weight Delta 9 were previously deemed legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, which further complicates the case brought by four hemp-related businesses, including Bio Gen LLC, Drippers Vape Shop LLC, The Cigarette Store LLC and Sky Marketing Corp.

Vague Law

The lawyers behind the businesses claimed that Act 629 was "unconstitutionally vague."

Judge Wilson agreed. Act 629 could confuse "even an exceptionally intelligent reader," he said, adding that phrases like "continuous transportation," "psychoactive substances," and "synthetic substance" are vague.

Judge Wilson pointed out that even though Arkansas can enact stricter laws regarding hemp production, it would be against federal law to restrict the transportation of these goods within the state.

"Arkansas law criminalizes hemp-derived products without an effective exemption for interstate commerce," he said.

What's Next

Granting the preliminary injunction, the judge halted the law's enforcement and turned down the state's plea to dismiss the case. Judge Wilson scheduled a trial for August 27, 2024.

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Photo: Courtesy of succo, mrkukuruznik5 by Pixabay

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticsLegalMarketsGeneralAct 629Arkansas cannabisBilly Roy Wilsonmarijuana legalizationSarah Huckabee SandersTHC
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