Most people are familiar with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9 THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), the most abundant cannabinoids in cannabis sativa. However, the cannabis plant contains numerous other potentially beneficial cannabinoids, including delta 8 THC.
Like delta 9 THC, delta 8 has psychoactive and intoxicating effects, though it’s reportedly not as strong as delta 9. Typically, delta-8 products deliver a mild and enjoyable high that induces feelings of relaxation and euphoria.
Thanks to a loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill, delta 8 is unregulated at a federal level, meaning it’s more easily accessible than delta 9. You can buy D8 online from PureKana and several other high-profile brands.
However, while Delta 8 remains legal in many states, others have moved to ban it. So, what does this mean for Delta 8 products, their legality, and possession limits?
The Legal Framework of Delta 8 THC
Since 2020, the popularity of Delta 8 products has soared across the U.S., partly due to their availability even in states where marijuana is illegal. Sourced from hemp, the cannabinoid has been legal at a federal level since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and its derivatives.
However, in recent months, various states have blocked the sale of delta-8 products, introducing bills that restrict or ban delta-8 THC altogether.
Those who allow the sale and use of Delta 8 acknowledge that since D8 starts as a legal product (hemp), it should be allowed. The states that have restricted or banned it cite a lack of research and understanding of the cannabinoid’s psychoactive effects and safety profile.
Essentially, the legal framework of Delta 8 is confusing and differs from state to state.
Depending on where you live, delta 8 products may be legal or illegal. Moreover, marijuana laws are constantly evolving, so while it may be legal now, it could be illegal next month, and vice versa.
In What States Are Delta 8 Products Legal?
As of 2023, delta 8 is legal by default in twenty-three states, including Washington, DC. These states have not taken a stance on D8 by either regulating or banning it; therefore, it falls under the regulations of the 2018 Farm Bill.
Since the bill defined hemp as cannabis with less than 0.3% delta 9 THC specifically (ignoring other forms of THC), delta 8 is technically legal when derived from hemp.
- Legal Delta 8 states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
States that have regulated the sale and use of Delta 8 products rather than banned them include California, Minnesota, Louisiana, Kentucky, South Dakota, and Virginia.
Six states have regulated D8 under their existing marijuana laws. These include Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Vermont.
Finally, thirteen states have outright banned delta 8 THC. These include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington.
Delta 8 is also prohibited in Hawaii but by an administrative rule, not law.
The Possession Limits for Delta 8 Products
In those twenty-three states where Delta 8 products are legal and unregulated, there is no possession limit as long as the D8 is hemp-derived. Delta 8 is viewed in the same light as CBD in these states. It’s a derivative of hemp; therefore, there are no federal or state restrictions on the purchase, use, possession, or sale of such products.
Problems arise if Delta 8 comes from marijuana rather than hemp. In this case, possession limits are linked to the legal status of marijuana. For instance, marijuana is illegal in Georgia, where possessing the substance can lead to a fine and even jail time.
If caught with one ounce or less of marijuana-derived delta 8 in Georgia, you may receive up to one year in prison and a maximum fine of $1000. If you’re in possession of more than an ounce, you could get up to five years in prison and a $5000 fine. Therefore, ensuring you’re using hemp-derived delta 8 products is essential.
In those states that have restricted and regulated Delta 8, you must check state-specific laws and possession limits.
Minnesota limits edible hemp products to 5 mg of THC per serving (50 mg per package). All other hemp products can only have a maximum of 0.3% of any THC, including delta 8, delta 9, and delta 10.
In Louisiana, no product can contain more than 0.5mg delta 8 or any other THC isomer. Laws can vary vastly from state to state, so it’s important to be in the know and keep up to date with your state’s regulations.
As for those states that have banned Delta 8 products, proceed cautiously because you could land yourself in serious trouble if caught with D8. Again, check state-specific laws, which are constantly evolving, for possession limits. If your state has a medical marijuana program, you may be able to access Delta 8 if you are a qualifying patient.
The legality of Delta 8 products is a bit of a gray area. Laws and regulations vary from state to state, so you may find it easier or more tricky to access Delta 8, depending on where you live.
As of 2023, states are tightening their stance on Delta 8 with more moving to restrict or ban its use. Nonetheless, hemp-derived delta 8 products are legal in more than twenty states, with several more regulating the cannabinoids use. As for possession limits, it varies between states and depends on D8’s legal states.
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