US Appeals Court Rules Hemp-Derived Delta-8 THC Products Legal

On May 19, 2022 a federal appeals court ruled in a California vaping dispute that delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) derived from hemp is “lawful.”

On May 19, 2022 a federal appeals court ruled in a California vaping dispute that delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) derived from hemp is “lawful” and eligible for trademark protection (1). The three-judge panel wrote that products containing delta-8 THC are generally legal because federal law defines hemp as “any part of” the cannabis plant, including “all derivatives, extracts, [and] cannabinoids,” that contains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC by weight (2).

Delta-8 THC is an isomer of the psychoactive cannabinoid that occurs naturally in the cannabis plant, delta-9 THC. Delta-8 THC can be synthesized from cannabidiol (CBD), giving rise to products that offer intoxicating effects without needing to be sourced from cannabis, which remains illegal under federal law (1).

The ruling does not address the legality of selling consumable delta-8 THC product, however (1). The confusion over delta-8 THC’s legality under federal law has prompted many states to limit or restrict how it can be sold. Though Congress legalized hemp derivatives such as delta-8 THC, it also directed the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to oversee how those products could be sold. The FDA has declined to authorize any cannabinoid products without a prescription, and the agency issued a consumer alert last September warning that delta-8 THC “may have potentially harmful by-products (contaminants) due to the chemicals used in the process.” The Drug Enforcement Administration, meanwhile, signaled late last year that delta-8 THC was legal (2).

For more on this topic, please see our June installment of the “Stuck on Compliance” blog by Kim Stuck at: https://www.cannabissciencetech.com/blogs/stuck-on-compliance.

References

  1. https://mjbizdaily.com/federal-appeals-court-delta-8-thc-products-from-hemp-are-lawful/
  2. https://www.marijuanamoment.net/delta-8-thc-products-are-federally-legal-just-like-hemp-appeals-court-rules/