Legality of Delta 8 by State
The cannabinoid industry became brand new to everyone and it is especially important when considering law enforcement professionals at the local, state and federal levels. In this guide, we want to share with you the legalities of the use and sell of Delta 8 THC in the United States
Where is Delta 8 legal?
Remember that literally overnight plant material that looked and smelled like marijuana suddenly became a legal commercial-scale agricultural crop. Similarly, unique chemical components contained within or derived from this new agricultural commodity went from being completely misunderstood to being completely protected-- at the federal level.
As a result of such a drastic and immediate shift in policy, consumers, entrepreneurs, law enforcement professionals and their regulators have all been struggling to interpret this legislation as accurately as possible. Unfortunately, that has created a bazaar avalanche of misinformation throughout the industry. We intend to clarify the legality of emerging cannabinoids such as Delta 8 THC at the local, state and federal levels now.
How Delta 8 is Federally Legal
Let’s start by addressing the DEA's interim final rule that was issued back in August of 2020. A lot of industry professionals incorrectly assumed that ruling would somehow impact the legality of Delta 8 THC at the federal level. The following serves to clarify why that is not currently the case but before we go any further, let’s begin by emphasizing our respect and support for the DEA, for all of its agents and for all of its legal professionals-- they are hard working Americans that are working every day to protect our best interests and enforce the laws as written.
You know they're not the bad guys that are out trying to destroy the cannabinoid industry and the reason that's important is because firstly, Congress is the lawmaking body with constitutional authority to write laws and pass bills so the 2018 Farm Bill, which was crafted by Congress and signed into law by the president, clearly establishes legislative intent that specifically protects industrial hemp.
As currently defined now, this passed bill protects the plant cannabis sativa and any part of the plant, including the seeds, derivatives, extract, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts of isomers -- whether growing or not--- as long as it's below 0.3% Delta 9 THC on a dry weight basis.
This is important because regulatory agencies do not have the constitutional authority necessary to change this law until Congress passes an amendment or updates the language of the Farm Bill (in 2022)-- this federal definition of hemp that protects Delta 8 THC and other emerging cannabinoids remains the law of the land.
Secondly, the language of the final rule doesn't target Delta 8 THC. Instead, it references synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols. Now while Delta 8 THC is structurally considered a tetrahydrocannabinol, the language of the Farm Bill specifies that its congressional protection supersedes the classifications found in the Controlled Substance Act.
Furthermore, Delta 8 THC isn't usually synthetically derived. While it can be chemically synthesized from non-hemp derived precursors, it is generally derived from hemp via the isolation of cannabidiol (CBD). Again, not only is Delta 8 naturally occurring in the plant, it is also derived from the hemp plant. These characteristics make the compound federally compliant under the 2018 Farm Bill.
In order to protect the legal nature of your delta 8 THC, you need to prioritize seed to sale traceability. You also need to make sure that you're licensed in your state and you’re following all of their guidelines, including local labeling laws. It is important to recognize that while federally protected, Delta 8 THC is not legal in every state or municipality.
States Where Delta 8 THC is Illegal
Delta 8 THC is legal in most US States where CBD oil is legal -- with some exceptions (see below). Before purchasing any Zen Master Delta 8 THC Products, please ensure you do not reside in a restrictive State.
Illegal States for the Sale of Delta 8, include:
- Rhode Island