DEA on delta-8’s legal status (Newsletter: August 15, 2023)

DEA on delta-8’s legal status (Newsletter: August 15, 2023)

The DEA has been thrown into the spotlight with its recent decision on the burgeoning cannabinoid, Delta-8 THC. Delta-8 THC has been touted as a legal alternative to its Delta-9 counterpart, raising questions among marijuana users and manufacturers. To address these questions, the DEA took the rare step of issuing a ruling on the substance’s legal status. On August 15th, 2023 the DEA finally clarified its position on Delta-8 and what its stance means for the cannabis industry.

In November 2020, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released its 2020 Controlled Substances Regulatory Agenda. This document clarified many questions surrounding the legal status of Delta-8, a hemp-derived cannabis compound.

The DEA’s position is quite straightforward: Delta-8 is considered a federally-regulated controlled substance and therefore, is unlawful for commercialization. Penalties for violating this policy can be severe. For today’s hemp agriculturalists, this means:

  • No sales, distribution or production of delta-8 is allowed—regardless of the state’s hemp laws.
  • No processing of any parts of the marijuana or hemp plant is allowed. That includes converting hemp flower into Delta-8.
  • No advertising of Delta-8 products is allowed.

The DEA’s current stance on Delta-8 is a clear reminder for all hemp businesses to stay abreast of the changing legal landscape. It is essential to remain up-to-date on both federal and state regulations in order to minimize the risk of violation.

2. Navigating Evolving Laws and Regulations

Entering a business environment can be daunting, especially when that environment is constantly in flux with changing laws and regulations. It can be confusing to know where to begin when navigating these new rules, but the key is to stay on top of updates. There are a few tips that can be helpful when getting started.

  • Stay Informed: Stay abreast of news and updates about changes to the regulatory landscape. This can involve signing up to newsletters, following government websites, or subscribing to podcasts.
  • Attend Online Courses: Years of knowledge and experience can be learned in just a few hours of online Zoom courses, Q&As, and webinars. Utilizing these resources can assist with understanding regulations and the law.
  • Hire Professionals: Independent contractors, legal advisors, and accountants can assist with most complex queries. From income taxes to other financial obligations, these knowledgeable professionals can help avoid costly mistakes.

If staying informed and knowledgeable about the laws and regulations in your industry is a priority, there are several methods available to make the process easier. Consulting with certified professionals or reputable outlets can ensure the most relevant, up-to-date information is taken into account for your business.

3. Understanding the DEA’s Statement on Delta-8

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s statement on Delta-8 is an important guide to understanding the legality of this powerful cannabinoid. Delta-8 is an isomer of THC, the primary psychoactive component in cannabis. Even though Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC share the same molecular structure, there are key differences between them that the DEA has outlined.

The DEA explains the possible legal implications of Delta-8 differently depending on its state of origin and how it is sourced. In their statement, they clarify that legislation specifically related to Delta-8 is still largely a state matter and will vary depending on the jurisdiction. According to the DEA, if the Delta-8 comes from hemp, it is not illegal, as long as the hemp is grown and distributed according to the provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill.

  • Delta-8 is an isomer of THC
  • Legislation specifically related to Delta-8 is largely a state matter
  • Delta-8 not illegal if sourced from hemp in accordance with the 2018 Farm Bill

4. What People Should Know About Delta-8’s Regulatory Environment

It can be difficult to keep up with the ever-evolving legal landscape surrounding Delta-8 THC. Thankfully, there are resources to help people stay informed. Here are some key points people should know when it comes to Delta-8’s regulatory environment:

  • Delta-8 THC is considered a “heterocyclic isomer of delta-9 THC”. This means that it is considered to be the same substance with different structures. As a result, Delta-8 can be treated the same way as any other form of THC according to federal law.
  • Different states have different regulations. Depending on the state, Delta-8 may be treated differently. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of the legal landscape regarding Delta-8 in each state.
  • Edibles containing Delta-8 may be prohibited. As Delta-8 is still considered to be a form of THC, ingesting it may be illegal in some states. Furthermore, the possession and sale of Delta-8 edibles may also be prohibited.
  • Delta-8 can be difficult to source locally for some consumers. Although Delta-8 products are becoming more and more widely available, it may still be difficult to source them locally due to limited retailers in certain areas.

Overall, it’s important to be informed of the legal landscape in your state – and the states in which you’re traveling. With the right knowledge, you can confidently and safely enjoy Delta-8 products.

As the debate on delta-8’s legal status rages on, it’s clear that the DEA has officially weighed in on the subject. While the effects of their ruling may not be felt immediately, it’s sure to have lasting repercussions within the cannabis industry. In the meantime, keep an eye out for the latest developments in the world of delta-8s and the DEA!


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