Currently, cannabis law in Florida is a patchwork of local, state and federal laws that are some times in conflict. However, as time goes on, the differences and confusion should vanish as the industry becomes more normalized. Until then, the various jurisdictions are tasked with handling the myriad of issues that can and have been arising, such as the issue of Delta 8 THC (D8).
D8 is a popular cannabinoid in Florida and around the country. It’s chemically similar to the popular cannabinoid that gets you high, Delta 9 THC (D), and the popular cannabinoid that doesn’t get you high, cannabidiol (CBD). However, as CBD and D9 are specifically contemplated in local, state and federal legislation, D8 is not. Accordingly, there has been some question regarding D8’s legality, especially given the fact that it gets its users high.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) argues that D8 is a synthetic analog of D9 THC, and therefore is illegal under federal law. However, proponents of D8 believe that D8 is covered under the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized all hemp products, including hemp derivatives. Since D8 comes from CBD extracted from hemp plants (making it a derivative), D8 should be legal, according to pro-D8ers.
If D8 is one day judged to be outside of the scope of the Farm Bill, then it will simply be classified as marijuana and still be available to the Floridian public. However, it won’t be as widely available as it is now-it won’t be in gas stations and cigarette stores. It would fall under the same regulations as D9 and be sold in licensed dispensaries.
If D8 is eventually judged to be within the scope of the Farm Bill, then expect the popularity of D8 to continue if not grow rapidly. Currently, law enforcement in Florida considers D8 legal, even though some think it’s only legal because of a loophole.
In an interview with NBC affiliate WESH 2 out of Orlando, Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County argued that it’s just like marijuana and should be treated as such.
“ The people in the marijuana/hemp business knew very well what they were doing, and quite frankly, all you have to do is smoke more of it to have the same exact effect of marijuana or THC 9,” Sheriff Judd stated.