Connecticut’s hemp industry is facing uncertainty surrounding new legislation regulating THC and CBD

(WTNH) — The recent passage of House Bill 5150 in the state Senate has raised concerns in Connecticut’s cannabis industry.

The legislation imposes stricter regulations on hemp-derived THC and CBD products, reducing the allowed amounts from 1 mg to 0.5 mg per serving and 5 mg to 3 mg per package.

Mike Goodenough, a farmer and member of the Cannabis Small Business Alliance, grows hemp in Eastford.

He warned that these changes would make many of their products illegal, leading to financial losses for farmers and limiting consumer choice.

“It will kill us, it will absolutely kill us,” Goodenough said. “Our farmers are forced to remove THC from their farms, which costs more money. It is also produced in an inorganic way, which prevents us from calling it a non-organic product,” Goodenough said.

For Goodenough, this will mean losing business to out-of-state competitors. The bill also states that sellers will have to repackage their products, which will also have a major impact on stationary wellness stores.

Kristin Souza closed her shop Sugar Leaf Creative earlier this year, saying she saw the writing on the wall.

“It won’t be financially viable to keep changing these products, and what you can wear now will have such low effectiveness,” she said.

Souza said it will also limit the selection of CBD products offered to consumers. The new law will also mean that THC-containing drinks will only be sold in stores and pharmacies. Annmarie Luisi-Rosado owns a company that provides medical marijuana assessments and certifications. He admits that he is afraid that these regulations may affect patients.

Annmarie Luisi-Rosado, who provides medical marijuana assessments and certifications, worries about the potential impact on patients.

“A lot of times they may be recovering from alcoholism and it puts them back into that dark space; that could be disturbing,” Luisi-Rosado said.

State Representative David Rutigliano, co-sponsor of the bill, defends its goals of protecting underage consumers.

“There is no law saying you can sell it to anyone under 21. You can sell it to anyone. If you walk into a store or a gas station and find THC seltzer containing a narcotic substance, a 12-year-old today could buy it.”

Rutigliano added that he believes only pharmacies should be able to sell products containing THC.

The bill awaits the governor’s signature. Connecticut Consumer Protection issued a notice on Friday that says: “All Connecticut businesses currently selling THC-containing beverages must take an inventory of all products in their possession on May 14, 2024. A report on these inventories and a fee of $1 per container is due to the Department of Consumer Protection by June 14, 2024.”