Las Vegas Cannabis Convention Raided by DEA and FDA

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The Champs cannabis convention and trade show is taking place in Las Vegas July 27 – July 30, 2021. However, on July 28, undercover police searching for what the state defines as illegal cannabinoid products raided vendors and suppliers. Since June 4, 2021, the rules on what cannabinoid products could be legally produced and sold in Nevada changed. Governor Steve Sisolak, D, signed SB 49 declaring such. This shocked vendors, many of whom offered various products like Delta 7, Delta 8, Delta 10, and THCO. Plus, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) hadn’t told vendors of this policy change. 

Police removed many vendors who gave out unauthorized samples. Others received arrest warrants and walked out of the convention center in handcuffs. Once the raid was deemed complete, the show returned. The public returned and appropriate vendors displayed their legal product.

How Did This Start?

How did undercover cops, the DEA, and the FDA become involved so quickly in one of the better cannabis conventions in the country? According to Blacklistxyz on Instagram, who first announced the Champs cannabis convention raid, a vendor gave a CBD edible to the state’s Attorney General unknowingly. Sample distribution is not acceptable at the convention center. Thus, the vendor left for breaking an already established law. 

However, the DEA and FDA shortly returned. They barred the doors so the public couldn’t come in. Plus, they confined vendors to their tables while agents searched and confiscated illegal products.

With the recent law change, why didn’t LVCVA tell vendors about the synthetic cannabinoid ban? According to an activist’s Facebook post, the LVCVA failed to tell vendors of the new law. LVCVA said the organization goes through a lengthy internal counsel review before announcing any policy changes. This lack of communication, and a vendor giving out prohibited samples led to federal involvement on a large scale.

SB 49

The bill that surprised everyone is SB 49. It states

“(1) any commodity or product made using hemp which exceeds the maximum THC concentration established by the State Department of Agriculture; and (2) a product or commodity made from hemp and manufactured or sold by a cannabis establishment that exceeds the maximum THC concentration established by the Cannabis Compliance Board. Existing law defines THC as (1) delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol; (2) delta-8-tetrahydrocannibinol; and (3) the optical isomers of such substances. (NRS 453.139) Section 3.5 of this bill revises the definition of THC as (1) delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and any structural, optical, or geometric isomer thereof; (2) delta-8-tetrahydrocannibinol; (3) delta-7-tetrahydrocannibinol; and (4) delta-10-tetrahydrocannibinol. – is prohibited.”

This bill honestly took the cannabis industry by surprise as it didn’t receive much debate or even press highlight. But Delta 8 and all synthetic cannabinoids are banned from stores in Nevada. This doesn’t prohibit people from taking these products, but they will have to go out of state to purchase them. 

Future

It’s unclear on how any cannabis and cannabinoid convention will continue in the future for Las Vegas. The city has established itself as a convention hub, but new restrictions may change that. The Champ convention raid situation is still developing, so we will be sure to update you on the latest.

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