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Article Updated 3/22/2022
Delta-8 has soared in popularity across the country in the last couple of years as an alternative to the psychoactive THC found in marijuana. The delta-8 isomer provides much mellower and smoother effects, often described as a pleasant mix of euphoria and calmness. Users say it helps regulate sleep patterns, control seizures, and relieve appetite loss. But with the laws on THC and cannabis out there constantly evolving, many are asking: is delta-8 legal in my state?
There are several questions about delta-8 legality, some of which have no straightforward answer. Plus, the various delta-8 bans and restrictions across different states can make it hard to know if you can purchase it in your area. In this guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at delta-8 regulations and help you answer the questions on everyone’s mind: in what states is delta-8 legal?
Delta 8 THC
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Delta 8 THC
What is Delta-8?
Delta-8, also known as D8 THC or dronabinol, is a hemp-derived cannabinoid oil that can be consumed either in pill form or by vaporization.
The difference between delta-8 and other THC compounds – like its brother delta-9, for example – is the location of a double bond within the compound itself. In fact, this is the only difference scientists have been able to identify between the two. The difference for users is that delta-8 binds to the cannabinoid receptors in your body slightly differently, meaning it’s not as potent.
Many people don’t believe that delta-8 carries as many psycho-active properties as marijuana and Delta 9 THC products. However, because it can still produce similar effects, delta-8 legality remains a controversial issue.
Is Delta-8 Federally Legal?
Some states have legalized delta-8 products. However, there are still several delta-8 illegal states because the plant is listed as a Schedule I drug, meaning the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) deem it to have a high potential for abuse. But, is delta-8 federally legal? Yes, but largely thanks to a loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill that distinguishes hemp products from marijuana products.
The 2018 Farm Bill
Under the 2018 Farm Bill, also known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, delta-8 THC is legal because it derives from hemp rather than marijuana.
The Farm Bill decriminalized hemp because it contains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC in dry weight, which is considered too low to have any psychoactive effect. However, the bill doesn’t address individual compounds within the plant, hence why legality questions arise and knowing where is delta-8 available can be challenging.
Because the compound remains unregulated at the federal level, many states make their own delta-8 regulations.
Where is Delta-8 Legal?
Here is a list of the states where delta-8 is legal and the restrictions that apply.
Delta-8 is legal and there is no possession limit. However, products must be sourced from hemp plants and contain less than 0.03% THC. Marijuana compounds remain illegal.
Hemp-derived delta-8 is legal. However, fines of up to $5,000 and the possibility of jail time apply to products derived from marijuana.
While marijuana compounds remain illegal, hemp-based delta-8 is legal under the Hawaii House Bill 2689 (a statewide bill similar to the countrywide 2018 Farm Bill).
Delta-8 is legal, provided it is derived from hemp and not marijuana. Marijuana-derived delta-8 is prohibited and punishable by fines and jail time.
Hemp-derived delta-8 is legal. However, marijuana-derived delta-8 is a Class B misdemeanor carrying fines of up to $1,000 and six months jail time.
House Bill 491 aligns state laws with the 2018 Farm Bill for hemp-based products. However, anyone in possession of less than 14 grams of marijuana-derived delta-8 products may be fined, and jail time is a possibility for larger quantities.
Both hemp and marijuana-derived delta-8 are legal in Maine, and there is no possession limit.
House Bill 698 aligns state laws with the 2018 Farm Bill for hemp-based products, so hemp-derived delta-8 is legal. Marijuana compounds remain illegal, although possession of 10 grams or less has been decriminalized.
House Bill 4001 aligns state laws with the 2018 Farm Bill for hemp-based products, so hemp-derived delta-8 is legal. Following the Massachusetts Ballot Initiative of 2016, adults over 21 are also legally allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana-derived delta-8.
Under House Bill 4517, hemp-based delta-8 is legal but can only be sold with a license from the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MMRA).
Under the Minnesota Industrial Hemp Development Act, hemp-based delta-8 is legal. Marijuana-derived delta-8 remains illegal, but has been decriminalized. Possession of 42.5 grams or less is classed as a petty misdemeanor with a maximum $200 fine.
Hemp-based delta-8 is legal, while marijuana-derived delta-8 remains illegal, but has been decriminalized. Possession of 10 grams or less is classed as a petty misdemeanor punishable by a fine only.
Legal Bill 657 aligns state laws with the 2018 Farm Bill for hemp-based products, so hemp-derived delta-8 is legal.
House Bill 459 aligns state laws with the 2018 Farm Bill for hemp-based products. Plus, the state’s Controlled Substances Act does not list delta-8 as illegal. Marijuana-derived delta-8 remains illegal, but has been decriminalized. The maximum fine is $100.
Bill A5322 (The New Jersey Hemp Program) aligns state laws with the 2018 Farm Bill for hemp-based products. In 2021, the state legalized recreational cannabis, so marijuana-derived delta-8 is also legal.
Under the New Mexico Hemp Manufacturing Act, delta-8 products are legal. New Mexico has also legalized recreational cannabis for adults over 21, so marijuana-derived delta-8 is also legal.
Senate Bill 352 aligns state laws with the 2018 Farm Bill for hemp-based products, so hemp-derived delta-8 is legal. Marijuana-derived delta-8 is illegal, but possession of 0.5 ounces or less is a misdemeanor carrying a maximum fine of $200.
Ohio Senate Bill 57 legalized the growth and sale of CBD products, so hemp-derived delta-8 is legal. Medical marijuana is legal in Ohio, so marijuana-derived delta-8 is also permitted, but not for recreational use.
According to the Oklahoma Industrial Hemp Program, hemp-derived delta-8 is legal, but marijuana-derivatives are not.
House Bill 3000 deems delta-8 legal. The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) caps THC levels for adults over 21 and medical marijuana cardholders above 18, but there are no current restrictions on delta-8 sales.
Pennsylvania’s House Bill 967 legalized hemp-based delta-8 in 2016, two years before the 2018 Farm Bill was updated. Marijuana compounds, however, remain illegal.
South Dakota has strict cannabis laws, but hemp-based delta-8 is not classed as a controlled substance and is therefore legal. However, possession of an ounce or more of marijuana-derived delta-8 carries a fine of up to $2,000.
State laws align with the 2018 Farm Bill for hemp-based products, so hemp-derived delta-8 is legal. Marijuana-derived delta-8 products remain illegal, and possession of over half an ounce carries fines of up to $200 and one year jail time.
Hemp-derived delta-8 is currently legal in Texas. House Bill 2593, which aimed to impose a delta-8 ban, failed to pass. A temporary injunction following a court case between state lawmakers and delta-8 vendors means hemp-derived products remain legal for the time being.
Both hemp and marijuana-derived delta-8 are legal in Virginia under House Bill 1839.
There are no specific state laws that govern delta-8 in Washington DC, meaning hemp-derived delta-8 products are legal under the 2018 Farm Bill.
House Bill 2694 aligns state laws with the 2018 Farm Bill for hemp-based products, so hemp-derived delta-8 is legal. However, possession of marijuana-derived delta-8 products is illegal, carrying penalties of up to $1,000 in fines and 6 months jail time.
Hemp-derived delta-8 is legal, but marijuana-derived delta-8 is not. Possession of marijuana derivatives is a misdemeanor, with penalties and jail time varying between first-time and subsequent offenses.
House Bill 0171 aligns state laws with the 2018 Farm Bill for hemp-based products, so hemp-derived delta-8 is legal. However, marijuana-derived delta-8 products remain strictly illegal.
Where is Delta-8 Illegal?
Most states that impose a delta-8 ban cite a lack of clinical research on the psychoactive effects. However, even without an outright ban, delta-8 legality in some states remains unclear.
States with a Delta-8 Ban
Delta-8 is considered a Schedule IIIA controlled substance under state law and is illegal. Depending on quantity and intent, possession ranges from Class C misdemeanor to felony.
Delta-8 is considered a Schedule I controlled substance under state law and is illegal. Possession penalties are the same as for marijuana – up to two years’ jail time for a Class 6 felony.
Delta-8 is considered a Schedule IV controlled substance under state law and is illegal. Depending on quantity and intent, possession ranges from Class A misdemeanor to Class D felony.
Hemp-derived delta-8 is illegal. However, you can buy up to 28.5 grams of marijuana-derived delta-8 from a licensed dispensary.
Despite having relatively relaxed medical and recreational marijuana laws, the possession and use of delta-8 is prohibited under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.
Due to legalized medical and recreational use under Senate Bill 1201, only state-licensed dispensaries can sell delta-8 products. However, since licensing applications aren’t even available yet, it remains illegal for now.
Delta-8 is classed as a Schedule I substance under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act and is illegal. Penalties for possession depend on quantity and intent.
Home to the strictest hemp and marijuana laws in the country, no THC products of any percentage are legal, and penalties for possession are harsh.
Delta-8 is a controlled substance, and neither hemp nor marijuana derivatives are legal. However, possession penalties tend to be softer than in other states.
Neither hemp nor marijuana derivatives are legal. The maximum fine for possession is $200, but harsher penalties apply for subsequent offenses.
Delta-8 is a state-controlled substance and illegal following updates to the Controlled Substances Act in 2019.
Delta-8 is classed as a Schedule I controlled substance under state law and is illegal. Possession penalties come in the form of hefty fines or jail time.
Both hemp and marijuana derivatives of delta-8 are illegal under North Dakota House Bill 1045.
Delta-8 is classed as a Schedule I substance under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, and is illegal. Penalties for possession depend on quantity and intent.
Delta-8 is a state-controlled substance and illegal under the Utah Controlled Substances Act. Depending on quantity and intent, penalties range from Class B misdemeanor to felony.
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Farms, and Markets (AAFM), which controls that state’s hemp program, deems delta-8 products prohibited under state law.
Delta-8 is classed as a Schedule I substance and is illegal. Furthermore, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) claims the synthetic and chemical process involved in producing delta-8 products go against the state’s hemp laws.
States Where Delta-8 Regulations are Unclear or Under Review
In the following states, delta-8 use is either under official legal review, or its status is unclear, meaning users and vendors need to be cautious.
State laws align with the 2018 Farm Bill for hemp-based products, so hemp-derived delta-8 is theoretically legal. In 2021, state lawmakers attempted to ban delta-8 under House Bill 2, but the bill failed to pass. More legal moves are likely in the imminent future.
Both hemp and marijuana-derived delta-8 are currently legal. However, following statements from FDA and CDC about safety, state lawmakers are currently moving to regulate (although not necessarily restrict or outright ban) delta-8 products.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s legal counsel released a statement saying hemp and marijuana-derived delta-8 is illegal under federal law, which it isn’t. However, that hasn’t stopped the police from raiding vendors, and the jury is out on criminal repercussions regarding possession. The Kentucky Hemp Association is currently in a legal battle with the state.
The New York Cannabis Control Board (CCB) has gone back and forth, at first banning delta-8 over improper labeling, before releasing a statement saying regulation may be on the way. Either way, distribution is restricted, and it’s unclear whether possession is punishable under state law.
Delta-8 legality is a gray area due to Attorney General Alan Wilson’s claims that hemp-derived products within the federal 0.3% THC limit are prohibited. So, while it’s not technically illegal in the absence of specific state regulations, repercussions for vendors and users are unclear.
Unrivaled Quality from Delta Munchies
While the question of “where is delta-8 illegal?” can still be murky, we hope we’ve given you enough information to help you distinguish where you can buy the THC industry’s latest craze. However, please note that this article is not meant as legal advice. If you are still unsure about delta-8 legality in your state, it’s best to speak with a qualified drug crimes attorney.
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