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Teen Marijuana Use Continues to Drop as Legalization Spreads, Delta-8 THC is Now Illegal in Arkansas, and Newly Signed Legislation in Washington State Will Permit Interstate Cannabis Commerce

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Teen Marijuana Use Continues to Drop as Legalization Spreads

The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that cannabis use among teens continues to drop. The CDC recently published its Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), which found that lifetime and current rates for cannabis use have declined steadily over the last decade. Not only has marijuana use dropped among teens, but the CDC found that alcohol and prescription drug usage has decreased as well. Notably, the survey found that between 2009-2013, teen use of marijuana was trending upward. But, since then, cannabis use among teens has declined linearly. Recreational cannabis dispensaries began opening in 2014 after the first states legalized the plant in 2012. Federal health officials see this as a promising trend and in direct contradiction with a common prohibitionist theme that legalizing marijuana would increase teen use. 

Delta-8 THC is Now Illegal in Arkansas

Retailers in Arkansas are officially prohibited from selling products that contain delta-8 THC. Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed Act 629 into law, making the sale of the hemp-derived cannabinoid illegal. Other cannabinoids that are expressly prohibited for sale in Arkansas include delta-9 and delta-10 THC. The cannabinoids are classified as Schedule VI drugs in the state, as is marijuana. The new law also requires that businesses keep records of any hemp product sales. Additionally, any business that wishes to manufacture or sell hemp products must obtain an annual license through the state. Arkansas is not the first state to ban the sale of hemp-derived cannabinoid products after they were unofficially legalized with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. 

Newly Signed Legislation in Washington State Will Permit Interstate Cannabis Commerce

Washington has joined the ranks of other states preparing for interstate marijuana commerce. Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation into law that would allow legal cannabis to be transported across state lines to other state-legal markets. But, the law is contingent on the federal government legalizing cannabis at a national level or allowing interstate commerce for marijuana between state-legal markets. In 2019, Oregon passed a similar contingency law; in 2022, California did the same. The law requires officials to make a written announcement of the policy change if and when the federal government either legalizes marijuana nationally or expressly allows interstate cannabis commerce.