Delta-8 Legality a National Patchwork of Irony

A total of 24 states have either banned or "severely restricted" delta-8 products.

With the number of states outright banning delta-8 THC goods seemingly increasing as quickly as the number that have legalized marijuana, the national patchwork of legality for hemp goods has become something of an ironic mine field for entrepreneurs.

So far, a total of 24 states have either banned or “severely restricted” delta-8 products, according to a new report from CBD Oracle, with 17 state bans in place. Where delta-8 products are legal, however, has strikingly little overlap with state-legal marijuana.

Source: Oracle

In places such as Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state – all early adopters of recreational marijuana – lawmakers banned some products from the cannabis cousin, for varying reasons but with the same end consequence: a piecemeal extension of prohibition, ironically grown directly from the 2018 federal legalization of hemp.

Similar bans have been adopted in cannabis-friendly states with recreational marijuana markets, including:

  • Alaska
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

But it’s not just the adult-use markets. Delaware, Hawaii, and West Virginia – which have medical-only cannabis markets – have also enacted delta-8 THC bans.

Other state haven’t gone for the full-on ban, but instead opted for heavy business restrictions on delta-8, such as California, Michigan, and New Hampshire.

That’s not to say there’s isn’t any noteworthy overlap, however. In Arizona, New Mexico, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, and Maine, both delta-8 hemp goods and marijuana are fully legal for adult consumers.

Ironically, it’s the more conservative states that have been slower to embrace legal marijuana that have stayed away from restrictions on intoxicating hemp goods with delta-8 THC, CBD Oracle found.

Those include Texas, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Indiana, along with the medical marijuana states of Arkansas, Florida, and Oklahoma.

The bottom line is that the 2018 Farm Bill – which legalized hemp – has led to the reverse procedural path that marijuana has been on since California first legalized its medical use in 1996. While marijuana has been slowly but steadily liberated, arguably many of the same cannabinoids are now being targeted for Prohibition 2.0 in a state-by-state march.

John Schroyer

John Schroyer has been a reporter since 2006, initially with a focus on politics, and covered the 2012 Colorado campaign to legalize marijuana. He has written about the cannabis industry specifically since 2014, after being on hand for the first-ever legal cannabis sales on New Year’s Day that year in Denver. John has covered subsequent marijuana market launches in California and Illinois, has written about every aspect of the marijuana trade, and was part of the team that built the cannabis industry’s first-ever trade show, MJBizCon. He joined Green Market Report in 2022.

One comment

  • Cindy Peterson

    October 24, 2023 at 5:27 pm

    Plant based medicine is the way to go


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