The regulation of delta-8 THC has always remained a conflicting topic when clarifying its legality under federal law. However, many states have recently started banning delta-8 THC products, considering them illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Consequently, more than 15 states have taken steps to crack down on businesses selling delta-8 THC. They are either setting a limit on the potency of CBD products or taking different measures for a complete delta-8 THC ban to limit its access.
In fact, the president of a third-party certification body, the U.S. Hemp Authority, stated how hemp operators need a permit to produce and sell delta-8 THC-derived products legally. It is the only way to protect their business from FDA, DEA, FTC, and other law enforcement agencies.
Keep reading the article to learn more about the conflicting regulations surrounding the delta-8 THC ban and how the states have taken action against its market.
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Under Federal Law
According to the 2018 Farm Bill law, all hemp-derived cannabidiol products are legal and do not fall under any controlled substance. Although this might indicate that the delta-8 THC is completely legal, it is not quite simple.
In late 2020, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) placed all synthetically-derived THC under Schedule I controlled substances.
According to this law, it is illegal to sell any cannabinoid extracted indirectly from the hemp plant or produced chemically. Since many cannabinoids are low in hemp plants, most cultivators obtain their compound using chemical isomerization.
Unfortunately, delta-8 THC is one such cannabinoid.
This means that hemp-derived products including delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10 THC are all illegal as part of the DEA’s Substance Control List. Furthermore, Federal law does not consider any psychoactive CBD product as legal.
In fact, there is a strict restriction on all CBD products to have less than 0.3% delta-9 THC.
While all the confusion surrounding delta-8 started with the 2018 Farm Bill law, various states are reviewing their laws to govern the THC.
States Response to Delta-8 THC
Since the late 2020 declaration from the DEA regarding synthetic THC, many states are updating their laws to regulate delta-8.
As of now, around 11 states have placed a complete and strict delta-8 THC ban already. These include Montana, Utah, Rhode Island, Arkansas, Alaska, Delaware, Colorado, Mississippi, Arizona, Iowa, and Idaho.
Although delta-8 is less potent than delta-9 THC, other states are also revising laws to govern CBD products in their cities.
We have discussed some of the states’ measures against delta-8 THC in the following section.
While recreational marijuana was legalized in Illinois in 2019, the Illinois House of Representatives took action against delta-8 in mid-April. The house passed a measure to regulate delta-8 THC products within Illinois, led under state Rep. Bob Morgan.
According to Morgan, delta-8 is a public health crisis, where the people in Illinois are consuming CBD products without any transparency from the respective companies. You can never know if you are smoking delta-8, CBD, or other hemp derivatives.
Although Kentucky is one of the top hemp-producing states, their agricultural department has also deemed delta-8 a controlled substance.
Their Agricultural Commissioner has made it clear to the hemp license holders that producing and selling delta-8 products is illegal. Besides this, they can expel them from the License Program and prosecute them as criminals for breaking this law.
The strict regulation of the delta-8 ban comes only days after its addition to the Schedule I controlled substances by federal law.
According to the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board, all lab-derived hemp products are temporarily banned in the state until further notice. The board is still discussing the addition of delta-8 and delta-10 as controlled substances under federal law.
Moreover, the state is also concerned about the safety regulations and thorough testing of CBD products. The temporary delta-8 ban gives them time to reconsider their cannabis law and its regulation within the state.
Unlike other states, state lawmakers rejected any proposal to classify delta-8 and delta-10 as a controlled substance in late April. This decision came after consistent complaints from the Alabama Hemp Industry members, who later praised the state for their decision.
However, another amendment was put forward to the state lawmakers to regulate medical marijuana in Alabama. The House Health Committee passed the bill, and hence, it has categorized THC products as a controlled substance.
North Dakota has not yet imposed a complete ban on delta-8 from the market like the other states.
Instead, the Attorney General proposed regulation of hemp to help people benefit from its medicinal effect. This push came after there was a massive surge in demand from the population for delta-8 THC.
However, there is also a section in the emergency bill that can call for a delta-8 ban due to possible exploitation of the drug.
Although recreational marijuana was legalized in Oregon in 2014, there are no regulations set in place for delta-8. Hence, the state legislators and the hemp industry are concerned about the lack of research and control over the compound.
For this purpose, the state House has introduced a measure to let Oregon Liquor Control Commission oversee delta-8 THC and set potency limits on CBD products. Besides this, these hemp-derived products have to undergo testing before they are introduced to the market.
Vermont is another state which considers delta-8 THC and its derivatives completely illegal. The state legislators reminded the hemp growers in late April about its illegal status under the state rules, prohibiting them from using the chemical in hemp products.
Since delta-8 THC is a potent psychoactive and extracted using chemical methods, the DEA has recently included the cannabinoid under Schedule I Controlled Substances.
Hence, many states have deemed it illegal under federal law and started regulating the compound. Meanwhile, 11 states have imposed a complete delta-8 ban already.