Georgia Lawsuit on Cannabinoids
Delta-8 THC is a cannabinoid that you derive from cannabis, often hemp. Delta-9 THC and Delta-8 are very similar. The exception is that D8 has one less chemical bond than its more popular colleague. Its effects are also a bit weaker, while providing the same level of purported benefits D9 THC may provide. However, the cannabinoid’s legal status is one that has raised plenty of controversy. According to the certain people, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and its derivatives containing less than 0.3% D9 THC. This creates a loophole at the federal level for derivative products that contain higher amounts of D8 THC. That is, if they are from hemp without more than 0.3% D9 TH based on dry weight.
However, D8 does not occur naturally in large amounts like CBD or D9 THC. That means Delta-8 can only be through a chemical process that involves converting cannabidiol (CBD) into Delta-8. In addition to that, certain state laws also prevent the sale of products that contain both D8 and D9 THC. Let’s read on to find out about delta-8 and if it is legal in Georgia.
Recent Upsets in Georgia With Delta-8 THC
In Georgia, recent raids in businesses selling Delta-8 THC lead to a lawsuit against the authorities. According to a local news station, a video surfaced online that showed a multi-force task agency raiding Element Distribution. They are a vape smoke distribution center in Gwinnett, for D8 products. Before the raid, businesses and customers were under the impression that the sale and distribution of D8 products were legal under the Georgia Hemp Farming Act of 2019.
However, the county’s District Attorney claims that Delta-8 and Delta-10 products are not legal under Georgia’s Hemp Farming Act. According to Brandon Delfunt, the county’s deputy chief district attorney – “The issue is that delta-8 and delta-10 are not always derivatives of hemp products, and even if they are derivatives of hemp products, the Legislature was very specific that hemp is defined as something that contains delta-9 THC 0.3 or less”
Earlier in the year, the District Attorney’s office released a warning. The warning held the indication that businesses selling D8 and D10 risk prosecution and felony charges. They went on to say – “The issue is further complicated by the reality that online retailers broadcast that some of these substances are legal and legitimate. With the emergence of the legalization of hemp and low THC oil, there are other products [that] are being sold which are not legal. Two of those products are delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC. Those found to be possessing, selling, or distributing these substances may be subject to felony punishment and are at risk of having their assets seized and forfeited to the state.”
But the recent lawsuit means the authorities’ stance on delta-8 and delta-10 products could face challenges in the immediate future. That could prevent any future deals raids from happening.
The suit is lead by Atlanta based law firm, Pate, Johnson, and Church against the Gwinnett County DA. The aim of the suit is to prevent them from further raiding retailers and arresting shop owners for selling delta-8 and delta-10 products. The lawsuit claims the DA misinterpreted the legality of “hemp” and “hemp products” under the law and explains why these products are legal in Georgia.
In a statement regarding the suit, the firm said – “Our lawsuit contends that the District Attorney lacks authority to arrest these shop owners or seize their property because products containing delta-8 and delta-10 derived from hemp plants are “hemp products” under Georgia’s hemp law, namely O.C.G.A § 2-23-3. The products our clients were selling contained delta-8 and other cannabinoids that were extracted from hemp. In that sense, they are like products containing CBD, which the District Attorney acknowledges are legal. As a result of the District Attorney’s actions, our clients have had to stop selling delta products and are facing severe business losses.”
Final Thoughts on Delta-8 in Georgia
This news is truly intense, and we hope to hear resolution soon. Georgians deserve to have access to delta-8 THC thanks to the Farm Bill. We hope the State doesn’t move forward with banning these beneficial products. When updates are available, we will provide them.