Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8 THC) has gained significant attention in recent times as a legal alternative to Delta-9 THC. Delta-9 THC is a psychoactive compound present in cannabis plants that is known to produce a high. Delta-8 THC, on the other hand, is a close relative of Delta-9 THC, but with subtle differences in its molecular structure that give it unique properties.
Despite its similarities to Delta-9 THC, the legality of Delta-8 THC is a complex i
ssue. The legality of Delta-8 THC is determined by a combination of federal and state laws, as well as the specific source of the Delta-8 THC.
Federal Law and Delta-8 THC
Under federal law, cannabis and all of its derivatives, including Delta-8 THC, are classified as Schedule I controlled substances. This means that Delta-8 THC is illegal at the federal level, just like Delta-9 THC. However, in 2018, the Farm Bill legalized hemp and its derivatives, including Delta-8 THC, as long as it contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC on a dry weight basis. This
means that Delta-8 THC derived from hemp that meets this threshold is legal under federal law.
However, the legal status of Delta-8 THC is not entirely clear under federal law. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR) in August 2020, which classified “synthetically derived” Delta-8 THC as a Schedule I controlled substance, regardless of its Delta-9 THC content. This means that Delta-8 THC that is chemically synthesized, rather than derived from hemp, is illegal at the federal level.
State Law and Delta-8 THC
The legality of Delta-8 THC also varies by state. Some states have expressly legalized Delta-8 THC, while others have taken a more restrictive approach. In some states, Delta-8 THC is legal if it is derived from hemp and contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, while in others, it is ille
gal regardless of its source or Delta-9 THC content.
As of February 2023, the legal status of Delta-8 THC is as follows:
Legal: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
Illegal: Alabama, California, Georgia, North Carolina.
It is important to note that the legal status of Delta-8 THC is constantly evolving, and it is essential to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in federal and state laws.
in conclusion, the legality of Delta-8 THC is a complex issue that depends on federal and state laws, as well as the specific source of the Delta-8 THC. Delta-8 THC derived from hemp that meets the 0.3% Delta-9 THC threshold is legal under federal law, but the legal status of chemically synthesized Delta-8 THC is less clear. The legality of Delta-8 THC also varies by state, with some states legalizing it and others taking a more restrictive approach. As always, it is essential to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in federal and state laws regarding Delta-8 THC to ensure compliance with the law.