Delta-8 THC’s runaway popularity shows that consumers love it, but the cannabinoid’s future is murky in multiple states.
Derived from hemp, Delta-8 is a form of THC that’s technically federally legal. However, many state officials believe the psychoactive compound should be regulated. As of October 2021, delta-8 is outlawed or restricted in 20 states. Texas and California enacted the most recent bans.
On Oct. 15, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) posted a notice on its website stating: “All other forms of THC, including Delta-8 in any concentration and Delta-9 exceeding 0.3%, are considered Schedule I controlled substances.”
The news surprised local hemp growers.
“This is really out of nowhere,” said Rick Trojan III, a board member of the Hemp Industries Association. “The whole thing is confusing for everyone involved. It sounds like DSHS doesn’t even understand why they know what they’re doing.”
California’s Governor signed Assembly Bill 45 into law on Oct. 6. It defines delta-8 as THC, which means that delta-8 products must undergo rigorous testing and can only be sold by licensed retailers.
Delta-8 regulations are unlikely to stop with Texas and California. In addition to possible federal regulation, many states are considering legislation to restrict delta-8.
Alabama’s state legislators have fought more than one attempt to ban delta-8. Alabama House Bill 2, which passed in April 2021, initially included an amendment to ban both delta-8 and delta-10 THC. The amendment was dropped, but experts say the issue is likely to be raised again.
Delta-8 is legal in Illinois, but the state is working on legislation that would require products to be tested before they’re sold.
Like Illinois, Oregon is working on a bill requiring testing and proper labeling of all delta-8 products.
Delta-8 is fully legal in South Carolina. However, on Oct. 4, the state Attorney General released a statement arguing that “all isomers of THC” are Schedule 1 substances. This opinion does not have the force of the law behind it, but it could be a sign of what the state intends regarding delta-8.
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