Lawsuit filed over Arkansas law banning sale and production of hemp products

(Batch by Wisconsin hemp scientific/Unsplash)

A group of hemp product marketers in Arkansas, Colorado and Texas filed suit in federal court in Arkansas Monday challenging Act 629 of 2023, which outlawed the sale of products containing THC derived from hemp plants containing less than 0.3% Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that were legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill.

The plaintiffs include a manufacturer, a wholesaler, a distributor and a retailer of hemp-derived products who would be affected the loss of Arkansas as a market under the new law, which went into effect August 1.

Act 629, passed in the 2023 regular session of the General Assembly, bans the production and sale of products containing Delta 8, Delta 9 and Delta 10 THC inside the state of Arkansas. Such products have been legal federally since 2018 under provisions contained in the 2018 Farm Bill that removed hemp containing less than 0.3% dry weight Delta 9 THC as a controlled substance. 

Named in the lawsuit are Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Attorney General Tim Griffin, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, the Arkansas Tobacco Control Board, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, the State Plant Board, and the prosecuting attorneys of the state's 28 judicial circuits. 

The federal complaint was filed on behalf of four hemp-related businesses; Bio Gen, LLC of Fayetteville; Drippers Vape Shop, LLC of Greenbrier; The Cigarette Store LLC of Colorado doing business as Smoker Friendly, and Sky Marketing Corporation of Texas doing business as Hometown Hero.