The Legal Status of Delta-8 in the United States
While laws in the United States have been trending towards the complete legalization of cannabis, there are caveats, and one of those caveats is delta-8 THC, which is found in the Cannibas Sativa plant. While the amount of delta-8 found in any given plant is insignificant, higher concentrations can be manufactured.
Delta-8 has not been evaluated or approved by the FDA, which means its legal status on a federal level is unclear. It’s currently in a gray area, as the 2018 Farm Bill legalized all hemp, changing it from a controlled substance to an agricultural product. However, the Drug Enforcement Agency still regards delta-8 as a controlled substance.
Meanwhile, the US Hemp Authority no longer certifies products that contain delta-8 and they’ve advised companies to stop producing the compound altogether.
If this leaves you wondering whether or not consuming delta-8 is legal or illegal, you’re not alone. The situation is confusing at every level and all we can do right now is look at what’s happening on a state level.
Where Can I Acquire and Consume Delta-8?
To start with, let’s list the states that haven’t imposed any sort of restrictions or bans on delta-8. Fortunately, this is the majority of states in the US.
● New Hampshire
● New Mexico
● North Carolina
● New Jersey
● South Dakota
● South Carolina
● West Virginia
In addition to the 28 states listed above, Washington D.C. has not banned delta-8, either.
These are the states that have banned all sales of delta-8 products.
● New York
● North Dakota
● Rhode Island
The states above have banned delta-8 for a variety of reasons. In some states, recreational use of any sort of THC is still illegal. In others, delta-9 is legal, but not delta-8, due to it having to be synthesized. Other states are simply following the example set by the DEA and treating it as a controlled substance.
The legality of possession is mixed, too. In some states, it’s only illegal to sell it and manufacture it. Other, stricter states, are cracking down on possession as well. In those states, however, it’s up in the air as to whether the police would actually enforce the law.
Finally, these states are currently reviewing the legal status of delta-8.
A bill recently proposed in Texas sought to ban delta-8 products, but the bill died in the legislature, so delta-8 is still legal there.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently signed bills to regulate delta-8 products in the state. All products will be reviewed and tested by the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency before they can be approved for sale. This certainly isn’t a ban on the products, but it could complicate things for smaller producers.
Fortunately, for the time being, delta-8 is still legal in a majority of states. The outlook certainly isn’t good, though. Even though 28 states haven’t banned delta-8, for many of them it simply feels like a matter of when. That’s if it’s not banned on a federal level first, which could happen. Texas set a precedent in fighting against a bill seeking to ban the substance. Time will tell if other states follow their lead.