The legality of Delta-8 THC has been all over the place in Texas. One moment it’s illegal, the next it’s temporarily blocked from being listed as a Schedule I drug. So, is Delta-8 THC legal in Texas?
For now, Delta-8 THC is still temporarily legal in Texas However, many Texans are frustrated with the lack of clarity on what exactly this means. In this article, the criminal defense lawyers from Thiessen Law Firm are here to clear up what the current laws are regarding Delta-8 THC.
The legality of Delta 8 THC in Texas
The confusion over the legality of Delta-8 THC in Texas began as a result of the 2018 Federal Farm Bill that legalized hemp products containing 0.3% or less Delta-9 THC, removing it from the list of controlled substances. The next year, Texas passed House Bill 1325 which allowed the sale of low THC hemp products containing 0.3% or less Delta-9 THC. Then in 2021, The Texas Department of State Health rejected the changes put in place by the Federal Farm Bill, officially keeping Delta-8 on the controlled substances list as a Schedule I drug, at least in the state of Texas.
The Lone Star State claims that it only legalized products containing hemp as defined on the federal level — hemp being any product that contains 0.3% or less Delta-9 THC. This change did not include Delta-8 THC. Despite having clarified the changes on the Consumable Hemp webpage, the Texas Department of State Health is facing major pushback from Texans state-wide due to the lack of clarification between what types of hemp were being made legal.
The final decision on the legalization of Delta-8 THC will be determined in January 2022. Whether or not it’s made legal will depend on whether it is considered a synthetic variant of THC. Because Delta-8 isn’t a naturally abundant cannabinoid in hemp, it needs to be converted from a different cannabinoid known as CBD. There is an argument as to whether or not this process makes it synthetic. Products found to be synthetic cannabinoids are typically made illegal.
If Delta-8 THC is made illegal, thousands of Texas residents could face felony charges, jail time, and up to a $10,000 fine for selling or possessing a substance that they thought was legal.
What is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC, or Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid (or compound) found in consumable hemp and marijuana plants. But does Delta 8 THC get you high? It definitely can! Although users have claimed that it is a “lighter” high than you would traditionally expect from THC products. Delta-8 THC acts as a kind of unicorn among the psychoactive components due to the fact that it bridges the gap between federally legal hemp and federally illegal cannabis, making it a federally legal high in many states, Texas included — for the moment.
Delta-8 vs Delta-9
Delta-9 THC is the main psychoactive component of cannabis or hemp that gets you high. When people loosely refer to “THC,” they are commonly referring to Delta-9 THC. Delta-8 and Delta-9 are very similar in structure although their slight differences are what account for their differences in potency. Delta-8 will not get you as high as Delta-9 and when derived from hemp, has to be converted from CBD. The difference between THC vs CBD is their levels of psychoactivity. While CBD is psychoactive, it does not get you high and is typically used to treat anxiety, depression, pain, and more.
So, is Delta-9 legal in Texas? It depends on two factors. Where the THC is derived and how much there is in the product. Hemp-derived Delta-9 THC with a concentration of 0.3% or less is legal for use in the state of Texas. Any product exceeding this concentration is illegal.
Keep reading: Does CBD show up on a drug test?
Worried about how the charges you could be facing if Delta-8 THC is made illegal? Contact Thiessen Law Firm today!
Although Delta-8 THC is temporarily legal in the state of Texas, that all could change as of January 2022. Because Delta-8 THC would be labeled as a Schedule I substance if it is made illegal, these changes could cause an influx of arrests and serious felony charges around our state. Remember that you always have the right to use the line “I plead the fifth” until you’re able to get a drug lawyer on your case.
If you’re concerned about how these changes could affect you or your hemp business, don’t hesitate to contact a drug possession attorney in Houston from Thiessen Law Firm. With over 112 “Not Guilty” verdicts, we know how to get a possession charge dismissed.
Give Thiessen Law Firm a call at 713-766-4770 or fill out our online form today to get started.
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