Delta-8 THC is a federally legal way to get high. But now, Virginia’s attorney general is cracking down on Delta-8 THC sales citing health concerns for children. That leaves some of the state’s hemp businesses looking to move out and some are taking their jobs with them.
Some residents of Hillsville, in Carroll County, Virginia, call the town “land wealthy, but limited in income.” Travis Wagoner, who grew up there, hoped to turn things around. He began growing one of the oldest crops known: hemp. He opened a shop specializing in hemp products, Virginia Cultivars.
“We went from having 17 employees working 50 hours a week to less than 10 employees working 30 hours a week,” said Wagoner.
An acre of hemp, nestled in the hill country is where Virginia Cultivars’ products start. Hemp is known for its extremely low levels of THC, a compound that produces a high. Wagoner chemically alters the hemp to create a new form of THC known as Delta-8, which is stronger and legal under the 2018 Federal Farm Bill.
The Delta-8 is infused into products, such as edibles, intended for adults. But now, it’s made its way into copycat items, from unknown manufacturers, that look like popularly branded candies and snacks.