FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A proposed Arkansas bill would ban Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 products.
The bill would classify them as “Schedule VI controlled substances,” prohibiting the manufacture, sale, and possession of the products.
According to the FDA, Delta-8 is a form of Cannabis that is psychoactive. The administration adds that the natural amount of THC in hemp is low and some of the THC in some of the products is produced in a chemical process.
According to a sponsor of SB358, State Sen. Justin Boyd, this bill was created to put an end to an increase in children overdosing on THC- citing poisoning reports by the Arkansas Poison Control Center.
KNWA/FOX24 reached out to the Arkansas Poison Control Center. Data shows there were 43 pediatric overdoses related to cannabis edibles called into the center in 2022.
So far this year, the number is already at 20. A spokesperson for the center said it could go over 100 by the end of the year. As for calls related to Delta products, the center is still studying the data.
“This just puts an exclamation point on it and makes it clear. A ban is going to be the best way to get it off a store shelves and out of kids’ hands,” Boyd said.
Ranaga Farbiarz is one of the owners of the American Shaman Kava Bar in Fayetteville. He sells Delta products to those over the age of 21, which reportedly makes up 80% of his revenue.
“It’s a death blow to our business and to hundreds of other small independent businesses in the state of Arkansas that have been generating millions of dollars in revenue,” Farbiarz said.
According to Farbiarz, Delta products have helped many Arkansans find relief from pain and are an alternative to medical marijuana. The Kava bar only sells products that have been tested against contaminants.
Farbiarz says he wants legislators to alter the bill.
“I would like to see the term prohibition taken out and regulation inserted because we’ve actually been for regulation of all CBD products and alternative cannabinoid products from the very beginning,” Farbiarz said.
Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin released a consumer alert today, warning of the dangers Delta-8 poses to children. The report warned Delta-8 could induce adverse reactions, are labeled in ways to entice children and are dangerous to both kids and pets if accidentally ingested.
Griffin said he supports the bill.
“Recreational Delta-8 and related products are harmful, unregulated, and parents should be vigilant to ensure they aren’t accessible to children. These products are widely available, sold online and in convenience stores and gas stations, with no age requirement to purchase,” Griffin said.
The bill was set to be read in a Senate committee on Thursday, but it wasn’t brought up.