Rise of Delta 8 THC Catches State Regulators Off Guard

Rise of Delta 8 THC Catches State Regulators Off Guard

Although 2020 will be the year remembered for the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was also the year that a new form of THC called Delta-8 that shook up the cannabis markets. For the CBD business owner that is thinking of marketing this product or has already done so, states are now trying to catch up with new laws, rules, and regulations.

The new element that is now present is cannabis products that either intoxicate or do not. Before the introduction of Delta-8 THC, states assumed that all THC was intoxicating and needed to be regulated. But such bans lose their potency when substances may or may not exhibit intoxicating properties. This avenue has opened up CBD marketing to exploit such discrepancies of which states are trying to respond.

Ramifications of Delta-8 THC

Those who grow marijuana legally are now becoming fearful that the development of Delta-8 along with Delta-9 TCH from CBD that is derived from hemp may undercut their business. This is where the regulations come in as some states have banned Delta-8 altogether while others are considering new laws that allow for its sale.

From the CBD marketing standpoint, the decision by each state will have a powerful effect on the overall market. That is why marijuana and CBD business owners are keen to preserve their advantages and prevent any laws that might quash their sales. Some of the states which have acted in this regard include the following.

California: A hemp bill has been passed through the lower chamber of the legislature which would limit the THC isomers from hemp products to be sold in marijuana dispensaries.

Michigan: State lawmakers are considering legislation that would congregate all THC products under the legal definition of marijuana. Which means that all such products with THC will undergo the same testing for its intoxicating properties. All isomers would be regulated under the state’s marijuana board. Currently, the legislation has passed the legislature and awaits the governor’s signature or veto.

Oregon: Currently seeking to ban sale of hemp products that contain THC to minors. And provide marijuana regulators with the power to set limits on THC in hemp products that are sold generally to the public.

Washington: The current discussion is about enforcing the law that denies THC derived from hemp into the market for marijuana. This is a point of contention for marijuana business owners who are saying that it is happening on a regular basis.

Further progress across the US in terms of new legislation is unlikely given that most state legislatures are not in session for the summer. The exceptions being California and Michigan which could either pass or stop new legislation from being enacted. However, it does seem that by the fall more states will take up new legislation when it comes to hemp-derived THC and how it is regulated.

For states that ban marijuana outright, it is quite likely that they will also ban hemp-derived THC. This is because THC is the active ingredient in cannabis that causes the intoxicating or euphoric feeling. Although hemp products with THC have been on sale for a while, the concentration levels were so low as to not cause any real concern.

However, the Delta-8 version has changed all that and now more states are taking up new legislation or at least discussing how to handle the matter. For CBD marketing, this may mean having to follow new rules or not having the product at all. What is certain is that the Hemp Industries Association is pushing to regulate and not ban the Delta-8 and other THC products currently on the market.

Evolution of States on Delta-8 THC

Colorado and Oregon which led the way in terms of legalizing recreational marijuana have been quite influential in how other states have tackled the issue. However, states such as California, New York, and Michigan seem to be placing hemp-derived isomers that cause intoxication under the auspices of marijuana regulators.

Given the push for new regulation, it is quite possible that more states will adopt a push towards considering Delta-8 THC in hemp products under the control of marijuana regulations. If only because once a path is taken, it is difficult for other states to break away and consider other types of legislation once the momentum has been established.

One possible stopping point is how the CBD business owners regulate themselves when it comes to introducing hemp-derived THC into their products. Admittedly, this is quite tempting from the CBD marketing point of view. But self-regulation is most likely to occur if only to preserve the inroads that have been gained into the marijuana industry.

However, even with stronger self-regulation, it is quite likely that most states that have legalized marijuana in some form will seek to put hemp-derived THC into the same category as cannabis-derived THC.

Lab Created Isomers

A related issue is the rise of lab created isomers along with synthetic cannabidiols that have changed the way CBD businesses sell their products. While Delta-8 is the new trend, it represents the power and potential issues of synthetic products on the marketplace. With so many flavors and areas open to exploration, it is a Pandora’s Box of issues that is being opened up.

But this also leads to state lawmakers considering the differences between synthetic and naturally occurring molecules in terms of THC production. Considerations such as non-intoxicating THC being in the same category as THC which is intoxicating. Such complexities may not be easily handled in any law that is passed.

The addition of hemp-derived THC has affected the CBD industry as a whole. The FDA which has had CBD under review may have to extend its efforts to include THC isomers for a more complete picture. Add to this concerns from the cannabis insurance industry on whether the sale of such products may be under fire from lawsuits and you have a potential mess.

And that means the CBD business owner may have to adjust their business model. The regulation of the THC isomers will certainly affect CBD marketing efforts in this regard and perhaps even the sale of the product itself.

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