If you thought cannabis regulations are tangled, then wait until you hear about the legality of delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Most of the delta-8-THC products that we see on the market are actually hemp-derived, synthesized from cannabidiol (CBD), which makes them seemingly legal on a federal level. So far, so good. But as you may anticipated, there’s a “but,” as is usually the case with liberal cannabis-related laws.
After all, delta-8-THC is too similar to delta-9-THC for its federally legal status to make sense in the context of delta-9-THC and cannabis still being a Schedule I controlled substance. In other words, the fact that the intoxicating delta-8-THC can be achieved via CBD synthesis and therefore fall under the hemp derivatives category is a classic case of a legal loophole.
Perhaps because of this, the US Drug Enforcement Agency came up with the 2020 Interim Final Rule, which added a stipulation to the 2018 Farm Bill, deeming synthetically-derived tetrahydrocannabinols as Schedule I controlled substances.
However, this hasn’t deterred delta-8-THC vendors one bit, with production of and demand for the synthetic cannabinoid going strong and companies believing that they are operating in line with the federal law.
In short, delta-8-THC currently finds itself in the center of a complex legal gray area, with both sides having strong arguments.
On top of that, the following states have chosen to illegalize delta-8-THC:
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
Texas made delta-8-THC illegal, but then a judge issued a temporary injunction saying that the state did not notify retailers that they would be changing the law. Alabama, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Oregon are currently reviewing delta-8 legality.
With all that being said, at least for now, the delta-8-THC market still seems to be thriving, especially as product manufacturers look to see what they can do to move the mountains of CBD extracted with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.