Popular New Alternative to Marijuana Now on the Chopping Block
Delta-8 is a synthetically derived compound from hemp that has similar effects to traditional (delta-9) marijuana but is federally legal and less potent. Because of this, many people in states where cannabis is illegal have started using delta-8 as an alternative, initially making the new product a great success.
Producers and manufacturers of delta-8 were hopeful that it would become a long-standing product in these states, and although the product immediately gained popularity, there is now talk of banning this legal marijuana substitute. Lawmakers are currently reviewing the product, which could cause substantial financial distress for these businesses since large amounts of delta-8 have already been produced and are popular among their customers. Many elderly citizens and those with chronic pain have been using delta-8 as a medication for pain relief, forms of anxiety, or even as a sleep aid. The removal of this product would be a huge loss for both businesses and consumers alike.
The two Texas bills relating to this topic are House Bills 2593 and 3948. The 2018 Farm Bill classifies any hemp-derived cannabis type products to be legal, but because delta-8 is not made directly from the plant, there is debate if it even falls under federal protection. HB 2593 lowers consequences for those caught in possession with certain amounts of THC, while HB 3948 would expand researching abilities for hemp. However, an amendment to HB 3948 restricts products like delta-8 that have been tainted with additional THC or synthetic THC.
As we await the final determination from the Texas legislature, the Texas hemp industry remains hopeful that progressive, not regressive, cannabis legislation will prevail. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this legislation and let you know what products will remain legal and which ones will not.
Vaughn, J. (2021, May 25). Texas Mulls a Delta-8 Ban That Smoke Shops Say Would Crush Business. Dallas Observer. https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/as-texas-weighs-banning-delta-8-smoke-shops-say-it-would-crush-business-12025763.
Leafly. (2021, March 31). What is delta-8? Leafly. https://www.leafly.com/news/science-tech/what-is-delta8-thc.