Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has quickly become a national sensation that is on offered in a growing number of stores, from local headshops to dispensaries.
A derivative of Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 boasts a more mellow, anxiety-free high, according to users, The New York Times reported. The best part of all? It could at one point be found in every store across the country.
But this is all set to change in at least 5 states, which seek to ban Delta-8 products altogether or regulate them, Hemp Industry Daily first reported. Governors planning to sign legislation banning or regulating Delta-8 will be in good company, they will be joining 11 other states that have already taken measures to address Delta-8’s surging popularity.
Michigan initially introduced legislation to regulate Delta-8 THC in March. The bill, H.B. 4517, would force all Delta-8 THC products to be sold by licensed cannabis retailers, thereby hindering the availability of Delta-8 to be sold as a product with non-licensed merchants, Hemp Grower reported.
The legislation has yet to be passed, and is currently journeying its way through the legislative chamber, having been amended by the Senate.
Oregon’s bill, H.B. 3000, is an all-encompassing piece of legislation that targets more than Delta-8 THC, but most importantly places the cannabinoid under the regulation of the state’s liquor control commission.
The legislation would place artificially derived and other cannabinoids under regulatory control. Delta-8 THC would fall under this umbrella, potentially limiting its availability to only licensed providers versus any old retailer.
The bill has yet to be passed, and is currently working its way through the legislative processed. The state House voted to approve proposed Senate amendments to the legislation on June 26. It is unknown at this time whether the governor will sign the legislation.
Alabaman’s narrowly avoided a legislative amendment to ban Delta-8 and Delta-10 production with the passage of H.B. 2 in April. The proposed amendment was ultimately dropped from the legislation, but then reappeared and was introduced by Rep. Arnold Mooney to be included with S.B. 46, a separate piece of legislation pertaining to medical cannabis, according to the Alabama Political Reporter.
What became known as the Mooney amendment, was then shot down by the House Health Committee and asked to be tabled by its sponsor, Sen. Tim Melson. The fate of the amendment remains uncertain at this time, but could reappear in other cannabis bills down the road which would place Delta-8 on a knife’s edge yet again.
“It’s premature to outlaw these potentially beneficial treatments for very serious conditions until research has been done,” the Alabama Cannabis Industry Association said in a statement, according to the Reporter. “What we do know is that there have been no deaths attributed to delta-8-thc and cannabis is generally safer than even some over-the-counter medications.”
States Where Delta-8 Narrowly Failed To Pass
In addition to Michigan, Oregon and Alabama, there are three other states where Delta-8 THC legislation was poised to pass, but did not: Illinois, Texas and Oklahoma.
Bills in Texas and Illinois failed to pass before the end of the May 31 legislative session, according to Hemp Grower. Oklahoma nearly attached a provision onto S.B. 1033 that would have classified Delta-8 THC as “marijuana,” but it failed to make it into the final bill.
Delta-8’s Perilous Future
As states begin setting their sights on Delta-8 THC, its availability will assuredly be hindered in one form or another. Fans of the cannabinoid will rejoice at the news that a lot of legislatures have opted to reclassify Delta-8 as a psychoactive, making it available at licensed retailers only. That being said, other states have sought to ban it altogether.
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