In a previous article, we discussed the significance of the 2018 Farm Bill legalizing industrial hemp and Delta 8 THC. This time we’re going to shine a light on where Delta 8 is illegal. As we’ve mentioned, Delta 8 THC is federally legal when derived from hemp. But it’s not that simple – Delta 8 THC is illegal in 11 states, no matter how it’s derived or sold. Let’s see all the reasons behind this.
Websites on marijuana law often point out the major differences between state laws and federal laws, and we’re chiming in. Each State has laws regarding cannabis components – some classify it as legal, other as illegal; some say it’s a Schedule I drug, others say it should be a Schedule III drug. Unfortunately, there are currently 11 states where Delta 8 THC is illegal: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah.
Let’s take a look at them individually.
The government of Alaska signed the Alaska Industrial Hemp Pilot Program in 2018, which allowed research on the “growing, cultivation, and marketing” of industrial hemp. However, their FAQ section contains a document that clearly states industrial hemp cannot be grown or marketed in Alaska by individuals who haven’t met their additional requirements. This essentially bans all the components of industrial hemp, which includes Delta 8 THC as well. Their official legal document containing this information can be found here.
The State of Arizona has gone through many changes regarding their status of medical marijuana. Since the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act was passed in 2010, medical marijuana possession of up to 2.5 ounces is legal. The possession, cultivation, and manufacturing of non-medical marijuana is considered a ‘serious crime’ in Arizona and is subject to penalties. Find the site containing this information here.
Although the State of Arkansas states it doesn’t consider ‘hemp-derived cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol to be marijuana under the criminal statute’, Delta 8 THC is still illegal in this state. Find the complete list of Arkansas marijuana laws here.
The State of Colorado has its own criminal code that puts Delta 9 THC and its isomers in the category of Schedule III drugs and bans all parts and components of the cannabis plant. This is confusing for some people because Colorado allows possession and use of marijuana for people over 21 who have a licence. However, Delta 8 THC is illegal to use, purchase, or distribute in this state. Read more about Colorado’s laws regarding marijuana here.
The State of Delaware has much more strict laws regarding cannabis. Under the state law of Delaware, possession of marijuana and its components, including Delta 8 THC, is a criminal offense since it falls under the category of Schedule I drug. Read more here.
Under the Idaho Uniform Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is a Schedule I drug, and possession or distribution of any amount of it is subject to penalties or imprisonment. This, unfortunately, makes Delta 8 THC illegal in Idaho as well. Read more about Idaho’s marijuana laws here.
The State of Iowa is also one of the states where Delta 8 THC is illegal due to it being an isomer of Delta 9 THC. Like Idaho and Delaware, Iowa also includes cannabis and its components in their list of controlled substances. You can find the full document of Iowa’s controlled substances here.
Although cannabis is decriminalized in the State of Mississippi to some extent, Delta 8 THC is still illegal to possess, purchase, cultivate, or use in this state. It’s good to mention that Mississippi has more relaxed laws regarding cannabis (and kudos to that!), but it should be noted that this component is not legal in this state and is subject to penalties. Read more here.
According to an article by PotGuide, the State of Montana legalized recreational marijuana in 2020, making the possession of up to 1 ounce of cannabis and 8 grams of concentrate legal for medical use, much like Arizona. However, what makes the situation a bit confusing is that Delta 8 THC is still illegal, but this may be prone to changes in the future.
A huge contrast to the State of Montana, possession of marijuana or any of its components, including Delta 8 THC, is illegal in Rhode Island and is punishable with high penalties and even imprisonment. However, it’s good to know that using medical marijuana in Rhode Island is legal with a license. Read more about cannabis laws in Rhode Island here.
The State of Utah allows medical CBD and medical marijuana as long as a physician recommends them. However, Delta 8 THC or any other component of the marijuana plant remains illegal in this state. Read about the penalties associated with possession or distribution of marijuana in Utah here.
Although this is the current situation regarding Delta 8 THC in these states, laws and regulations are prone to change. We’re really excited to see if anything new occurs in the near future. In the meantime, we’ll keep speaking our mind about the benefits of this plant and its components!