States Move To Ban Delta-8 THC

By Michael Sands  | June 10, 2021

An increasing number of states are banning Delta-8 THC as federal regulators verify its legality.

Delta-8 THC has become very popular, prompting more jurisdictions to restrict access to the commodity, which is often generated from hemp extracts.

Varying Responses

To limit market access, outright restrictions are being implemented and measures to prohibit the products are being considered.

According to U.S. Hemp Authority President Marielle Weintraub, states will continue to restrict Delta-8 THC and other products like it because the cannabinoid is classified as a restricted narcotic under federal law.

“Do not make or sell Delta-8 products unless you have a permit to make or sell THC as a controlled substance,” said Weintraub. “A state-licensed adult recreational or medicinal marijuana operator is the correct avenue for the lawful manufacturing and sale of Delta-8 products. Hemp businesses who fail to do so risk facing FDA, FTC, USDA, and EPA sanctions, as well as possible enforcement actions from the DEA and state law enforcement and regulators.”

Hemp operators who manufacture Delta-8 THC will be prevented from certifying products through the US Hemp Authority, according to Weintraub.

Confusion Reigns Supreme

Because of conflicting restrictions, the legal status of Delta-8 THC, as well as Delta-10 THC, has been unclear.

Proponents of Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC products contend that all hemp-derived cannabinoids fit under the definition of hemp, which is now a lawful crop and no longer a controlled narcotic, according to the 2018 Farm Bill.

However, in late 2020, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration released an interim final rule stating that “all synthetically derived (THC) controlled narcotics remain Schedule I prohibited drugs.”

According to the DEA, Delta-8 THC is a prohibited substance since it is made from hemp-derived CBD rather than being taken directly from the hemp plant.

“From a chemist’s standpoint, it’s evident that using a catalyst to isomerize CBD to Delta-8 THC is a chemical process,” said Erik Paulson, lab manager at Infinite Chemical Analysis Labs. “By definition, every product of a chemical reaction like this is a synthetic chemical.”

At least five states have considered or are currently updating their laws to specifically regulate Delta-8 THC, joining at least 11 other states that already have laws in place addressing the minor cannabinoid. Delta-8 THC can cause psychoactive effects in some people despite being less potent than the Delta 9-THC found in marijuana.

Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah are among the states that have outright banned Delta-8 THC.

However, because Delta-8, Delta-10, and Delta-9 THC, are still listed on the DEA’s Prohibited Narcotics List as Schedule 1 controlled substances, they are still banned in all 50 states, according to Paulson.

“Because Delta-9 is the only cannabinoid officially included in the 2018 Farm Bill, some have construed it as the legalization of these other cannabinoids,” Paulson added.

The following is a list of state Delta-8 measures:

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