It’s not quite gone yet, but grab it while you can. Last March, KannaKnowledge warned that government agencies would be trying to close loopholes created by the Farm Bill that allowed for Delta-8 sales. And of late, they are succeeding.
New York has just updated its regulations for the production, distribution and sale of hemp cannabinoid products, and Delta-8 was in its sights. Among 111 pages of updated regulations, the Department of Health now states that hemp cannabinoid products sold in New York “may not contain synthetic cannabinoids, or cannabinoids created through isomerization, including [Delta] 8-tetrahydrocannabinol and [Delta] 10-tetrahydrocannabinol.”
In addition, the state now requires licensure from the state Department of Health for any entity that manufactures, distributes and/or sells cannabinoid hemp products in the state, including online and out-of-state retailers who may make sales to state residents. The penalties for nonlicensed sales include a permanent ban on sales in New York State.
Other states that currently ban Delta-8 THC include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah. And more are on the way. The Illinois house has passed a measure to regulate Delta-8. Michigan is in the process of implementing a statewide ban. North Dakota’s Attorney General is pressing for an immediate ban. The Oregon house has introduced a measure similar to Illinois’s. And in Vermont, the Agency of Agriculture has recently stated that making Delta-8 products in the state would violate current law.
One outlier is Florida, where lawmakers have shown no interest in stemming the popularity of Delta-8. As long as Delta-8 products comply with current state laws and are tested and labeled properly, they’re good for sale.
Of course, there’s a second front in the war against Delta-8: the feds. The Drug Enforcement Administration is continuing its own fight against the industry by insisting Delta-8 is a controlled substance in its Interim Final Rule. Whether or not the DEA prevails in the lawsuits that have been filed challenging their ruling, it’s clear that the states have no intention of allowing Delta-8 sales to continue free from restrictions.
The expectations for the immediate future include total bans, new potency limits, and/or measures to solely allow manufacture, distribution, and sale on the same plane as cannabis: state-licensed growers and retailers. More than likely, states will be imposing age restrictions and other conditions that will at least remove the “wild west” aspect of Delta-8.