Delta 8 is an excellent cannabinoid. It offers many of the same benefits as Delta-9, but slightly different. For this reason, it's gaining in popularity among cannabis consumers. The 2018 Farm Bill helped bring this fantastic cannabinoid to the market. Its passing legalized Hemp across the nation, creating a legal loophole for products like Delta 8. The bill only limits Delta 9 THC to 0.3%, leaving out Delta 8 and other more exotic cannabinoids.
However, the marketplace is dynamic and quickly changing. Meaning Delta-8 legality varies from state to state. It seems almost every state has its own take on Delta 8. Some states are creating legislation to keep it around, while others outright ban it. There is not one specific reason for banning it, either. The reasons behind this vary from state to state.
Why Is Delta 8 Is Legal In Some States?
There is no one answer as to why Delta-8 is legal in some states and not others. However, one reason it's legal is that Delta-8 is seen as a minor player in the cannabis market and doesn't potentially hurt cannabis sales and tax revenue like Delta-9 does. Additionally, Delta-8 is seen as less psychoactive than Delta-9, so it's less likely to be abused.
On the other hand (and in a complete 180), some states have seen Big Cannabis lobby for the regulation and restriction of Delta 8 and its respective products. One reason cited is it appears that the unregulated Delta 8 market is siphoning away money from the Delta 9 cannabis market. This also correlates to less taxable revenue for the states where marijuana sales are taxed. So it seems legal marijuana states are more prone to making Delta-8 illegal because it can affect cannabis sales and reduce overall taxable income for the state. Additionally, there isn't enough research on the safety of Delta 8, mainly because there isn't a standard for testing Delta 8 products. On top of that, there is limited research on its long-term effects. Lastly, we hear its psychoactive nature mentioned as another reason for regulation.
What States Allow Delta 8?
Delta-8 is currently legal in 32 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and in Washington D.C.
In two other states, Connecticut and Michigan, delta-8 is regulated the same way as recreational cannabis.
Furthermore, Delta-8's legality is unclear in these three states: Arizona, California, and Mississippi.
What States Ban Delta 8?
So far, Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah, and Washington have all made Delta-8 illegal.
Moreover, several states are considering banning Delta 8, making it illegal to possess, sell, and consume. States like California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Hawaii, and Texas are currently looking at making Delta-8 illegal. These states want to protect their cannabis sales and tax revenue.
In Kentucky, for example, an emergency bill has been introduced that would ban the production of any "intoxicating products" like Delta 8. It would also include Delta 10, THC-O, THC-P, and Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) products. The bill was introduced on February 14th, 2022, by Sen. Paul Hornback (R). If passed, its emergency status means it would go into effect immediately.
Where Do We Go From Here?
At the moment, it's still legal to possess, sell and consume Delta-8 in the majority of states. However, as more and more states legalize marijuana, we'll likely see a surge in the regulation of this cannabinoid. So far, we see Delta-8 as a minor player in the cannabis market, but that may soon change. For now, it's best to check your local laws to see if Delta-8 is legal in your area.
Whatever the reason, it's clear that Delta-8 legality will continue to vary from state to state. So if you're planning on using this cannabinoid, make sure to check your local laws first.