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To the uninitiated, delta-8 THC or D8 may sound like a cool code word for some military outfit when you come across it for the first time. But if you’re familiar with the world of cannabis and the cannabis industry, then you’re likely to have come across the term once or twice.

 

Today, it is an industry sensation that has been buzzing around for a while, piquing customers’ interests everywhere. 

Is Delta-8 Legal?

 

At the federal level, we can answer YES, but regarding the delta-8 legality by state, there is no straightforward yes or no answer to that question. What we can consider an appropriate response varies from state to state.

 

This post explores each state to surface the legality of THC delta-8. But before jumping into delta-8 THC legal status by state, you need to understand the substance a bit more.

What is THC Delta-8?

 

Delta-8 THC (Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol) is one of the over 100 cannabinoids in cannabis plants. If you wonder why ‘THC’ is part of the name, it’s because D8 is a tetrahydrocannabinol variant.

 

However, most times, when you come across someone, an article, or a product referring to THC, the reference often points to delta-9 THC.

Delta-8 vs Delta-9

 

Delta-9 THC, commonly known as THC, is a cannabis compound famous for getting users high. On the other hand, delta-8 THC is a cannabis compound with the psychoactive effects of delta-9 but at a less potent level. 

 

Both substances have similar chemical structures. Only D9’s double-bond occurs on the ninth atom, while D8’s is on the eighth; hence, their names.

 

To put things into perspective, you can refer to delta-8 THC as THC’s older sibling that’s better at providing therapeutic value than intoxication. However, both share similarities in the effects they provide. 

Will Delta-8 THC Get You High?

 

Delta-8 has a similar composition as delta-9 THC. Consequently, it has subtle intoxicating or psychoactive effects. So, will delta-8 THC get you high? Technically, yes.

 

How high you get after using a delta-8 THC cart is subject to how your body reacts to the substance. Generally, the effects cannabis has on users differ across individuals. 

 

However, common side effects of THC, such as anxiety, confusion, hysteria, brain fog, etc., are either non-existent or very light in delta-8 THC.

 

Users report THC delta-8 as inducing mild sensations and light-headedness. They say it is less potent in causing ‘highness’ when compared with THC. Delta-8 THC will get you high; however, more than anything, you’ll stay focused on the strong soothing effects the cannabinoid brings.

 

Mild high or not, the point remains that a certain amount of it will get you high. Consume with caution when you are using delta-8 THC carts, edibles, or similar products.

 

It is imperative to note that despite its mild effects on adults, delta-8 THC carts and all other THC delta-8 products, such as brownies and gummies, should be kept away from children and pets. The effects on persons under 18 can be potentially dangerous due to psychoactivity.

How is Delta-8 Legal?

 

There are two things to bear in mind: hemp and marijuana. The differences between the two are what determines legality here. While both come from the cannabis family, ‘hemp‘ is used as a reference to cannabis with 0.3% or less than 0.3% THC content by dry weight. Marijuana refers to cannabis with more than 0.3% THC content by dry weight.

 

In 2018, the 115th Congress made hemp federally legal across the United States through the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill defines hemp extensively as “Cannabis sativa L., and any part of the plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

 

Hemp, also known as industrial hemp, is often grown for medical or industrial purposes and does not contain enough D9 to get consumers high. Although delta-8 THC occurs naturally in cannabis, the amount is usually insignificant. However, farmers can easily produce concentrated amounts of delta-8 THC from cannabidiol (CBD) derived from hemp. And this led to the proliferation of THC delta-8.

 

While the Farm Bill makes hemp federally legal, not all states accept this position due to its slight psychoactive effects. Let’s take a look at what your state has to say about it. 

Can I Carry Delta-8 On A Plane?

 

Flying domestically with hemp-derived delta-8 THC, which is federally legal, is generally permissible, whether it’s to mitigate flight anxiety or for enjoyment at your destination. However, it’s important to be mindful of varying state laws, specific airline policies, and the exact composition of your delta-8 product.

States Where Delta-8 is Legal

 

It is crucial to note that in states where delta-8 is legal, the status only applies to D8 derived from lawful hemp grown by a licensed grower. Delta-8 THC derived from any cannabis plant with more than 0.3% THC will only be legal in adult-use states.

 

Now, let’s find out if delta-8 is legal in your state.

1. Alabama

 

Delta-8 THC currently enjoys legal status in Alabama, thanks to the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 and legislative actions in 2023 that countered an attempt by the Alabama Board of Pharmacy to classify it as a Schedule I controlled substance. 

 

The state’s legal framework allows the use of hemp derivatives, including delta-8 THC, although there was a brief period of ambiguity due to the Board’s opinion on synthetically derived delta-8. Looking ahead, Alabama is contemplating regulations that could introduce age restrictions, labeling requirements, and other controls, but no specific legislation has been enacted yet. 

2. California

 

In California, delta-8 THC is legal but regulated under guidelines similar to those for marijuana, including age restrictions, licensing, testing, and taxation. The proposed Assembly Bill 45 (AB45) seeks to further regulate hemp extracts, including delta-8, by introducing a new licensing system for retailers, rather than limiting sales exclusively to licensed dispensaries. 

 

This means delta-8 could remain accessible through specialized hemp retailers, in addition to traditional dispensaries. As Governor Gavin Newsom has yet to sign AB45, the future of delta-8 THC regulation in California is still pending, highlighting the importance of staying informed on legislative updates.

3. Connecticut

 

Delta-8 THC is legally available in Connecticut, albeit under strict regulations that align it with the broader cannabis market. These regulations mandate that delta-8 products are subject to safety, quality standards, and age restrictions, with sales confined to individuals 21 and older.

4. Florida

 

Is delta-8 legal in Florida? Yes. The Florida state Senate Bill 1020, which supports creating a state hemp program within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, makes delta-8-THC legal in Florida. There is no possession limit for delta-8, and so far, there seems to be no move to regulate the substance. 

5. Georgia

 

Delta-8 THC is legal in Georgia, with restrictions aligned with the 2018 Farm Bill and Georgia’s Hemp Farming Act (HB 213), which permits hemp derivatives below 0.3% THC.

 

However, the state prohibits hemp-derived cannabinoids in edible forms unless approved by the FDA, allowing delta-8 in non-edible products like vapes and tinctures. House Bill 458, still under consideration, could introduce further regulations, including licensing and age restrictions for delta-8 sales.

6. Illinois

 

Hemp and all-natural hemp materials, including delta-8, are legal in Illinois. The state’s industrial hemp act makes THC delta-8 legal. And so far, there are no strict regulations on the substance. 

7. Indiana

 

Delta-8 is legal in Indiana. Indiana SB 516 does not indicate any possession limits on legal hemp materials, including delta-8-THC, in the state.

8. Kansas

 

Delta-8 THC is legal in Kansas. The state’s SB 263 exempts legal hemp-derived delta-8 THC from its list of controlled substances. 

9. Louisiana

 

Delta-8 is legal in Louisiana but with the following limitations:

 

  • You can’t sell or buy products containing THC for inhalation
  • Products containing THC can’t contain more than 1% THC
  • You must register products containing THC with the state

10.  Maine

 

Maine has one of the freest opinions on hemp, making delta-8 THC legal via Maine State Constitution Title 7: Part 5: Chapter 406-A. 

11.  Maryland

                  

Delta-8 THC is legal in Maryland. The state’s definition of hemp, according to HB 1123, is similar to that of federal law. 

12.  Massachusetts

 

The Massachusetts Agricultural Improvement Act legalizes and protects the usage of legal hemp and hemp materials in the state. Therefore, delta-8 is legal. 

13.  Michigan

 

Industrial hemp is a regulated substance in Michigan. Consequently, only licensed cannabis stores can sell delta-8 products. 

14.  Minnesota

 

Delta-8 THC is legal in Minnesota. With the 2018 Farm Bill in place, Minnesota also updated the Industrial Hemp Development Act, making delta-8 THC legal in Minnesota. 

15.  Missouri

 

THC delta-8 derived from legal hemp is legal in Missouri. The state’s definition exempts legal hemp and, consequently, delta-8 THC from the list of controlled substances. 

16.  New Jersey

 

New Jersey has legalized D8 and D8 products. The state adheres to the provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill. Additionally, recreational and medicinal marijuana is legal in the state. 

17.  New Mexico

 

Delta-8 THC is permitted in New Mexico. The state’s law exempts legal hemp and hemp material from Schedule I Controlled Substances.

18.  North Carolina

 

Delta-8 is legal in North Carolina. Although the state exempts hemp from controlled substances, usage and possession must be in accordance with the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Commission laws. Delta-8 could become more regulated in North Carolina soon. 

19.  Ohio

 

Delta-8 THC is currently legal in Ohio, as it falls under the category of hemp derivatives made permissible by the 2018 Farm Bill. However, it remains unregulated, with no specific age restrictions, licensing, or product testing standards in place. 

 

The legal landscape is evolving, with Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program viewing it as a Schedule I controlled substance and Governor DeWine expressing intentions to seek a ban due to its psychoactive properties and lack of regulation. Legislative debates are ongoing, with proposals ranging from outright bans to establishing regulatory frameworks, making the future of delta-8’s legality in Ohio uncertain. 

20.  Oklahoma

 

Delta-8 THC is legal in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Industrial Hemp Program provides the sale and use of delta-8, as long as the product is from legal hemp. 

21.  Oregon

 

THC delta-8 is legal in Oregon. Although it is not a controlled substance, the state’s HB 3000 classifies delta-8 as an artificially derived cannabinoid and regulates its sales and usage. 

22.  South Dakota

 

Like most D-8 legal states, South Dakota adopted the federal law’s definition of hemp and made it legal. Thus, making delta-8 legal within the state. However, it may soon come under regulation. 

 

A bill to limit the sale of THC to only adults aged 21 and older has been passed by both houses of the legislature and may soon be signed into law.

23.  Tennessee

 

Delta-8 THC is legal in Tennessee, but starting July 1, 2024, it will be regulated and taxed under a new law signed by Governor Bill Lee. This law introduces an age restriction, making it illegal to sell delta-8 products to anyone under 21.

 

Prior to this regulation, delta-8 was legal with few restrictions. The change aims to address health concerns and will be accompanied by further regulations on testing, labeling, and serving sizes by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

24.  Texas

 

Is delta-8 legal in Texas? Yes, THC delta-8 is legal in Texas. There have been recent attempts to ban delta-8 THC in Texas, but both attempts failed. However, the legality of delta-8 is not so clear in some counties, such as Brazos County, where law enforcement officers arrested a woman for possessing delta-8. 

25.  West Virginia

 

Following the definitions provided by HB 2694, delta-8 THC is legal in West Virginia. 

26.  Wisconsin

 

Delta-8 is legal in Wisconsin, and you can easily get it in local dispensaries. 

27.  Wyoming

 

Wyoming House Bill No.0171 exempts hemp and hemp products, including delta-8 THC, from its list of controlled substances. Therefore, THC delta-8 is legal in Wyoming. 

28.  Washington D.C

 

In Washington D.C., delta-8 THC is legal, aligning with the district’s progressive stance on cannabis and its derivatives. This legality is based on the Farm Bill and local laws that permit the sale and possession of hemp-derived products, including delta-8 THC, as long as they contain less than 0.3% delta-9 THC. 

What States Is Delta-8 Illegal In?

 

Unfortunately, that leaves us with the remaining states that prohibit D8 sales, consumption, and possession. 

 

Reasons for delta-8 illegality in these states are mostly very similar, and they border on the non-adoption of federal legislation’s definition of hemp and THC derived from hemp. 

 

Delta-8 THC is illegal in the following states:

 

  1. Alaska
  2. Colorado
  3. Delaware
  4. Hawaii
  5. Idaho
  6. Mississippi
  7. Montana
  8. Nevada (technically could be approved for marijuana industry)
  9. New York (isomerization banned, could theoretically be sold in adult use)
  10. North Dakota
  11. Oregon
  12. Rhode Island
  13. Utah (possible in medical industry)
  14. Vermont
  15. Washington
  16. West Virginia

How (and Where) Can I Buy Delta-8 THC?

 

Although hemp and hemp-based products are legal according to federal legislation, the legal details are still somewhat unclear even in states that allow D8. More so, law enforcement officers may be unable to tell the difference between delta-8 THC and THC at a glance.

 

This means that users in one legal state may find delta-8 THC carts and similar products in local stores or through online retailers, while users in some other legal states may only find it in licensed cannabis stores. Yet, others may find it hard to get in their area despite being legal.

 

Another tricky thing with delta-8 legality is that the federal legislation only approves THC delta-8 derived from hemp. However, producers can also derive delta-8 from cannabis plants with over 0.3% THC, which is not legal – and you could be on the wrong side of the law. 

 

Hence, you need to ensure that you are buying delta-8 products derived from legal hemp. 

How to Buy Delta-8 THC

 

  • Ensure that the product packaging is clearly labeled
  • Confirm it is from legal hemp
  • Do not buy products that indicate a mix of THC and delta-8 THC
  • Double-check a brand’s third-party lab-test results before purchasing 

Where Can You Buy Delta-8 THC?

 

  • With the 2018 Farm Bill in place, you can buy delta-8 THC products from any reputable online store and ship them to your legal state using USPS
  • Licensed cannabis stores in any legal state

P.S.: Delta-8 THC is still a topic for hot debates in legal and illegal states, and state laws can change at any moment. Do due diligence to keep up with your local news on the latest legal status of D-8 in your state before making a purchase.

 

Still not sure how to navigate the world of cannabis in your state? Feel free to contact Elevate Holistics for more tailored guidance.

 

Patient Resources: 

 

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About the author

Michael Lawal is a seasoned content writer with specialized expertise in the medical cannabis industry. With a background that blends journalism and health sciences, Michael has a knack for translating complex medical cannabis research into accessible and engaging content. His writing portfolio showcases a range of work from informative articles and research summaries to patient education materials. Committed to raising awareness about the benefits and responsible use of medical cannabis, Michael's work is a valuable resource for both consumers and professionals in the field.
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