Laws surrounding hemp and cannabis seem to be constantly changing which makes it hard for the average consumer to keep up. For all who call Illinois home, we've got great news for you. Delta 8 THC, often referred to as diet weed, is perfectly legal in Illinois!
Although hemp-derived products like Delta 8 THC can be bought in Illinois you won't find them in registered dispensaries because of a few quirks about its legal status that may surprise you.
Even though these hemp-derived cannabinoids are allowed by federal law, that doesn't necessarily mean they are at both the state and federal levels. This leaves many to wonder "Is Delta 8 legal?". Let's take a closer look at how and why Delta 8 is allowed in Illinois.
What is Delta 8?
Originally discovered in 1941, Delta-8 THC is one of over 100 naturally occurring compounds, called cannabinoids found in small traces in the hemp plant. Delta 8 THC is considered a minor cannabinoid, which means that it makes up less than 1% of a mature cannabis plant.
As a cannabinoid, the benefits that Delta 8 brings to the table are very appealing for many and make for a great alternative to those who are either unable to access THC legally or those who prefer a more mellow alternative to Delta 9.
Since Delta 8 is a psychoactive compound, it does produce a "high", but users can expect lesser psychoactive effects than that of Delta 9 THC. Many consider it the middle ground between Delta 9 THC and CBD. Delta 8 causes users to feel euphoric and uplifted.
Is Delta 8 legal in Illinois?
Delta 8 is officially legal to possess, sell, distribute, manufacture, and market in Illinois as long as the products are derived from industrial hemp thanks to the Industrial Hemp Act.
The Illinois Industrial Hemp Act defines hemp as "the plant Cannabis Sativa L. and any part of that plant, whether growing or not, with a Delta 9 THC concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis, this includes any intermediate or finished product made or derived from industrial hemp.
There is some confusion however around a policy that was released on March 3rd, 2022, by the Illinois Department of Agriculture (DoA). This limited medical marijuana and adult use licensees from selling Delta 8 THC that is chemically synthesized from CBD that has been extracted from the hemp plant.
The policy states "Hemp and hemp derivatives may not be used to concentrate or to synthesize intoxicating compounds including but not limited to Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, THC-O, or Delta 9 THC-O."
Oddly enough this policy only applies to adult use and medical marijuana licensees. So, while hemp products like Delta 8 cannot be sold in registered dispensaries, it does not restrict these products when sold in other retail settings.
What is the 2018 Farm Bill?
The Agricultural Improvement Act, better known as the 2018 Federal Farm Bill, is the federal bill that officially legalized hemp and hemp-derived THC products at the federal level.
One of the most significant and widely discussed aspects of the 2018 Farm Bill was the legalization of industrial hemp, a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species. This move effectively removed hemp, defined as cannabis and its derivatives with very low concentrations of the psychoactive compound Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), from the list of controlled substances.
The bill has had a significant impact on federal laws regarding CBD and hemp industries, allowing for the widespread cultivation of hemp and the transfer of hemp-derived products across state lines for commercial or other purposes. The bill also implemented regulations and requirements for the growth and sale of hemp, which are overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The legal history of Delta-8 THC in Illinois
In of 2018, under SB 2298, Governor Bruce Rauner authorized the legalization of Delta 8 and all other hemp-based compounds in Illinois.
Prior to this Act, Delta-8 THC was considered unlawful by default, due to its inclusion under the state's Controlled Substances Act. The Act also included isomers of THC, thereby encompassing Delta-8 within its scope. However, the enactment of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act in 2019 led to the legalization of cannabis.
This act notably removed restrictions on hemp production and structured a lawful framework for the growth, cultivation, and processing of industrial hemp. Simultaneously, it made modifications to the Noxious Weed Act and the Cannabis Control Act, omitting hemp and its derivatives from the marijuana classification.
There have been attempts to introduce stiffer regulations around hemp-derived THC products. Just earlier this year, State Representative Bob Morgan (D-Deerfield) took legislative action in an attempt to mandate the testing and labeling of products containing Delta-8 THC, CBD, and other unchecked cannabinoids, in a manner similar to that used for legal cannabis products.
However, while the bill made its way through the state House, it didn't secure approval in the Senate. Consequently, Morgan expressed that he is revisiting the strategy. He indicated that "meetings with key stakeholders are currently in progress to tackle the pressing public health issues related to the state's regulation of CBD and Delta-8," according to Morgan. Only time will tell if Delta 8's legal standing will change in state law.
Are there Age Restrictions on Delta-8 Products?
The Industrial Hemp Act doesn't define a specific age restriction for Delta-8 products or any hemp products. However, retailers typically implement the 21-year-old age limit stipulated by state agencies for the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act when selling Delta-8 THC products.
While the Industrial Hemp Act initiated a broad range of products, it also provided exceptions for "hemp" in relation to other "cannabis" constraints. Therefore, age restrictions that apply to marijuana don't apply because the legal definitions explicitly exempts it. If a Delta-8 THC product is classified as a "hemp" product, then the age restrictions for the sale of "cannabis" do not apply.
Despite this, retailers generally enforce certain limitations on purchasers, and in effect, the 21-year-old age limit for marijuana is often applied to Delta-8 THC.
Is Recreational Marijuana Legal in Illinois?
Yes, recreational use is legal. Individuals aged 21 or over with a valid picture ID can legally purchase and consume marijuana. However, it's importanat to note that consumption of marijuana is still regulated.
The law permits possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, yet using cannabis in any form, be it smoking, vaping, or consuming is prohibited in both motor vehicles and public spaces across the state.
The sale of marijuana is also strictly controlled and can only be executed through a network of state-licensed dispensaries. It's illegal for individuals to personally sell any amount of marijuana.
Is Medical marijuana legal in Illinois?
Illinois residents are also allowed to buy marijuana for medical use if they have a valid medical marijuana card.
Is Weed Decriminalized in Illinois?
Yes, Illinois has taken measures to decriminalize the possession of minor quantities of marijuana for personal use. If you're found in possession of 30 grams or less, you won't be subject to a ticket or penalty.
There are no fines or legal consequences for possession of anything less than 30 grams of marijuana. However, possession of an amount ranging from 30 to 100 grams is considered a misdemeanor that could lead to a prison term of up to one year and a fine of $2,500.
Further offenses or possession of larger quantities escalate the charge to a felony. This carries potential imprisonment ranging from 3 to 5 years, along with a hefty fine of $25,000.
Where to Buy Delta 8 THC in Illinois
So now that you know that Delta 8 THC products are available to buy in Illinois you may be wondering where you can find it, a quick Google search of "buy Delta 8 THC near me" will produce a lot of results.
You will find that you can buy Delta 8 THC locally in Illinois from many smoke shops and CBD stores in major cities like Chicago, Aurora, Joliet, Naperville, and Rockford. This of course is not the only way to purchase Delta 8.
How to Buy Delta 8 THC Online in Illinois
Many choose to buy Delta 8 online for many reasons such as convenience, and variety, and some just simply aren't comfortable walking into their local vape shops.
Buying Delta 8 online affords you the ability to browse a much wider selection with many options of THC products right from the comfort of your own home. Just keep in mind that reputable online retailers like Everyday Delta should be able to provide lab test results for every product they carry.
These lab results offer confidence that the products you are buying are legally compliant, of top quality, and free of any banned ingredients or harmful chemicals.
Is THC legal in Illinois?
Yes, state laws allow Delta 8 to be bought and sold in Illinois.
Is medical marijuana legal in Illinois?
Medical marijuana is fully legal in Illinois. Residents of The Land of Lincoln are allowed to purchase marijuana from licensed dispensaries with a valid photo ID.
Can Delta 8 be added to food in Illinois?
No, the FDA does not allow Delta 8 THC to be added to food under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This coincides with the state's Hemp Act and federal law.
What does the future look like for Delta 8 in Illinois?
Currently Illinois residents can legally purchase Delta 8 THC. However, there are ongoing discussions to enforce testing and labeling requirements for Delta-8 products, similar to regulations for legal cannabis items. Hopefully, these efforts will only result in policies that enforce quality products and customer safety without impeding on anyone's rights to access hemp derivatives.
Consumers looking to buy Delta 8 should always purchase from a reliable online source that carries top quality Delta 8 brands backed by third-party lab test results like Everyday Delta, ensuring safety and compliance.
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