CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Sen. Mike Stuart (R-WV) has proposed a bill that would make it illegal to sell or own Delta-8, Delta-10 and Kratom products in West Virginia.

These items can be bought at places like gas stations. The packaging will sometimes look like ordinary candy, but it contains stimulants like THC. Stuart says the packaging is misleading.

The bill would classify the products as Schedule I substances, which would make them illegal to own or sell.

Under West Virginia Code, Schedule I substances are categorized as having a high potential for abuse and have no accepted medical use.

Stuart says he feels that these products could become the “next opiate crisis.”

“All three are addictive and dangerous. In WV today, there is no age limitation. Literally, a fifth-grader can legally buy the drugs,” Sen. Mike Stuart tells 13 News.

Advocates for the bill say these products are gateway drugs, while the opponents disagree.

Stuart also says the bill would add methamphetamine precursors and norfentanyl to the list of Schedule I drugs.

As of Tuesday, the bill has passed through the Judiciary Committee.

On Wednesday, the West Virginia Oil Marketers & Grocers Association, said they had been working with the State Senate to put additional regulations on legal products to keep illegal products out of stores, and shared the following statement regarding the bill Stuart proposed:

“Over the last two weeks OMEGA, and our members, have been working with Senate leadership – including Senator Mike Stuart – to put additional regulations in place to keep legal CBD Delta and Delta 10 products out of the hands of children and to ensure illegal products never make it into our West Virginia stores. Unfortunately, the products that Senator Stuart has displayed in media interviews have inaccurately depicted the legal CBD Delta 8 & 10 products that our members sell in their stores. The products being shown in the media from Senator Stuart contain a synthetic form of Delta 8, which is not included in the legal products that are regulated by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.

It is VERY important to us to keep legal CBD products out of the hands of the children of our state, which is exactly why we have been working with anyone who shares these same goals. The safety of the children in this state is of the utmost importance to us – just as we know it is to Senator Stuart. Perhaps Senator Stuart doesn’t have all the facts – or maybe he is confused about the differences in these products. We feel it is vital to set the record straight and lay out the facts to remove all confusion surrounding this important topic.”

West Virginia Oil Marketers & Grocers Association