Ever since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp, the hemp industry and its federally legal hemp products have left a lot of confusion surrounding which products are legal and which are not. The legal status of CBD, Delta 8 and standard THC (Delta 9 THC) are complex and are constantly changing.
As Delta 8 THC becomes increasingly popular, there are even more people asking the question "Is Delta-8 Legal?" We take a look at the progression of the law surrounding both Delta 8 THC and marijuana in the lone star state. The last thing anyone wants to do is unintentionally break any federal or state laws and possibly face a felony charge.
Let's take a look at what classifies each of these THC compounds and what separates them from one another from a legal perspective. Before we do that, it is important to understand how this legal confusion even began.
What is the 2018 Farm Bill?
The 2018 Federal Farm Bill legalized hemp products that contain 0.03% or less Delta 9 THC on a dry weight basis, this put into motion House Bill 1325, which the Texas senate unanimously passed and signed by Greg Abbott in 2019. The passing of this bill is what then allowed the sale of these hemp derived products as long as they remained federally compliant by containing no more than 0.03% Delta 9 THC content outlined by the Farm Bill.
Manufacturing and processing of hemp in Texas remains a different matter. While buying, selling, and processing hemp products in Texas became legal, smokable hemp manufacturing remained banned in the eyes of the Texas Department of State and Health Services.
What is Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 is just one of over 100+ cannabinoids that are naturally produced in the cannabis plant. Like Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 THC is a psychoactive substance, which does provide intoxicating effects, meaning it does produce a "high", but it is considered a more mildly psychoactive substance when compared to Delta 9 THC. Overall, Delta 8 THC falls in a middle ground between CBD (hemp derived cannabidiol), which is a non-intoxicating substance and regular THC (Delta 9).
This chemical compound is found in very small traces in both hemp and cannabis plants. It is found in such small amounts; manufacturers are unable to procure enough of it in large enough quantities to fulfil its demand. Because of this they have found a way to convert or synthesize it from hemp derived cannabidiol (CBD).
Is Delta 8 legal in Texas?
Yes, Delta 8 THC is legal in the state of Texas. The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) was resistant to the changes that were made with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill and made an effort to have Delta 9 THC added back to the list of controlled substances.
The DSHS attempted to ban the sale of Delta 8 THC and they were able to do so for a short period. Once citizens and businesses became aware, a Texas Supreme Court judge's ruling on the case granted a temporary injunction. During this time the sale of Delta 8 THC was in a legal limbo. Companies like Hometown Hero, Delta Extrax, Eighty-Six Brand, Treetop Hemp Co, and many others were pivotal in putting a stop the ban of Delta 8 THC in Texas.
Eventually a district court judge blocked this ban stating that DSHS did not follow the rule-making processes required by the state of Texas and DSHS have stated themselves that they have no regulatory authority over controlled substances. This injunction prohibited the ban of Delta 8 THC, again, making the purchasing and selling of Delta 8 temporarily legal.
Finally, in a separate suit, the federal government ruled in court that Delta 8 products do in fact fall under the legal definition of hemp and are considered federally legal as long as they contain the federally compliant levels of Delta 9 THC.
These are not only huge wins for the hemp industry as a whole, but these are huge wins for businesses like Hometown Hero along with Texans who are looking for medicinal relief from cannabis alternatives that are readily available and easy to acquire without risks of facing criminal charges.
Is marijuana legal in Texas?
Currently marijuana is illegal in the state of Texas. In fact, Texas has some of the strictest laws against the recreational use of marijuana of any state in the country which date all the way back to 1931. Not only do we suggest that you "Don't mess with Texas", but we also suggest you not mess with illegal marijuana in Texas.
Marijuana possession of anything up to 2 ounces is a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable with a $2,000 fine and possibly up to 180 days in jail. Possession of more than 2 ounces, and it becomes a Class A misdemeanor. Then you're looking at a $4,000 fine with a year in county prison.
Unless recreational marijuana legalization happens in Texas, it remains a controlled substance in Texas state law.
Is Delta 9 THC legal in Texas?
It may appear that we've have already answered this question, but the fact is, Delta 9 THC is simply one primary active ingredient in both the cannabis plant and the marijuana plant. Delta 9 THC is legal at the federal level and is also legal in Texas law, when it is derived from hemp.
Again, hemp is defined as cannabis that has a Delta 9 THC content of no more than 0.03%, this hemp is then considered a legal substance. Marijuana on the other hand is, and continues to be, an explicitly illegal controlled substance and is prosecuted in the state.
Can doctors prescribe marijuana in Texas?
Medical cannabis is legal but only in extremely limited cases. There are very few accepted medical use reasons that doctors are able to prescribe marijuana for. Some of the reasons that marijuana is acceptable for with a prescription include epilepsy, autism, PTSD, and cancer. Even then, these prescriptions are limited to THC concentrations of 1% or less.
Regardless of Texas technically having a medicinal marijuana program, it tends to be very narrow in its scope and very cost prohibitive for many.
Where to buy Delta 8 THC in Texas
You can find Delta 8 and CBD products in many local retailers and vape shops. If you are looking for an even larger selection than what you may be able to find locally you can even buy Delta 8 and many other hemp derived products online. Many online retailers offer a wide variety of Delta 8 THC products ranging from Delta 8 edibles to vape carts and seltzers.
Best Delta 8 THC products delivered to Texas
Because cannabis products remain legal, Texans can purchase Delta 8 and other THC products online and have them shipped and delivered directly to their door. Regardless of where you decide to purchase your THC products just be sure to act responsibly and only buy from a reputable source.
All trustworthy hemp manufacturers and retails will offer fully transparent third-party lab testing for each product they manufacture or carry. This ensures that public safety is their top priority. These lab test will indicate that the THC product is federally compliant and is free of any harmful chemicals or heavy metals, which can remain in products if not properly produced.
What does the future of Delta 8 look like for Texas?
The state's ban on this readily available THC compound was very short lived due to the impressive legal action taken by many. The legal future of Delta 8 THC in Texas remains unclear, but one thing is apparent, Texas hemp businesses and manufactures along with its citizens will fight for its right to remain legal.
Frequently asked questions
Is Delta 8 legal in Texas for recreational use?
Yes, Delta 8 THC is legal for all uses in the state of Texas as long as it is derived from hemp and contains no more than .3% Delta 9 THC.
Can you pass a drug test with Delta 8 in Texas?
No, because Delta 8 THC is a form of THC, these THC metabolites will be present in your body. Standard drug tests do not differentiate between THC that is legally derived from hemp or Delta 9 THC found in marijuana.
Is possession with Delta-8 a felony in Texas?
No, the legal status of hemp derived Delta-8 THC products in Texas remain fully legal. You should keep in mind that police and other enforcement officers may have a tough time indicating whether or not some products are actually legal Delta 8. It is in your best interest to keep all products in their original packaging which should include a QR code to lab testing, proving the product is in fact a federally compliant hemp product.
What happens if I get pulled over with Delta-8?
Because Delta-8 is legal in the state of Texas you are able to possess it legally. However, you should always act responsibly and avoid driving or operating a vehicle while using Delta 8 THC.
It is great to see Texas overcome, what could have been a great blow to many hemp growers, manufacturers, retails, and especially citizens. It sets a precedent for many other states to stand up against potential bans in their states. As more people discover the possible benefits that hemp products have to offer, we can only hope that cannabis laws land in the favor of those who benefit from it the most.
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