August 2020 – Delta-8 THC’s legality has not been clear. Now it is officially announced by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA): any delta-8 synthetically produced THC is now federally illegal. Prior to that, the compound was not listed as a Schedule I controlled substance. This legal gray area led even to the sale of D-8 THC products by many retailers in states in which medical marijuana is completely illegal.
Is delta-8 THC-illegal under the federal 2018 Farm Bill and DEA rules?
In 2018, a new Farm Bill was signed. Widely celebrated in the cannabis market, hemp and its derivatives under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) are not prohibited by law unless they have more than 0.3% THC in them (delta-9-THC to be specific). Cannabis derivatives exceeding 0.3% delta-9-THC remain illegal under the CSA threshold.
The 2018 Farm Bill shows that, as long as the ingredient has been derived from hemp and the product does not contain more than 0.3 percent Delta-9-THC, Delta-8-THC is not prohibited in any quantity. This analysis was unfortunately complexed by the DEA. The Interim Rule of August 21, 2020 declared that all products that exceed the 0.3 percent threshold, including intermediate hemp (partly processed) products containing increasing power, even though the potency was only temporary, decreasing prior to sale and consumption, were not only end products containing more than 0.2 percent Delta 9 THC illegal.
How is the CBD industry affected by that?
This new DEA ruling will not affect the CBD industry as of now. Much of this is due to clarifications about the illegal use of synthetic THC Delta 8 products. Delta-8 THC is found in low hemp levels. Some sellers have used a legal breakthrough to create highly concentrated (i.e. synthetic) forms of delta-8 THC from hemp extracts. These concentrates are usually found as vapor cartridges, rubber or other foodstuffs. Some people are angry that the DEA does not limit hemp derivatives. Many see this as an attack on freedom won by the 2018 Farm Bill (which legalized the use of hemp in all 50 United States of America). In support of the new DEA decision, more research is needed until Delta-8 THC is understood to be on the same level as Delta-9 THC.
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