DEA Ruling Prohibits Most Online Sales of Delta 8 THC
The so-called “gray area” is now a very solid black and white.
The debate over whether or not Delta-8 THC from hemp is legal to ship across state lines has abruptly come to an end. According to the most recent Drug Enforcement Agency Interim Final Ruling, hemp-derived Delta-8 is federally prohibited and is to be considered the same for enforcement purposes as Delta-9 THC, the better-known and more psychoactive THC.
The ruling, issued Aug. 21, 2020, states, in part, that “all synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) remain Schedule I controlled substances.”
“The [2018 Farm Bill] does not impact the control status of synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols (for Controlled Substance Code Number 7370) because the statutory definition of “hemp” is limited to materials that are derived from the plant Cannabis sativa L. For synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols, the concentration of delta-9 THC is not a determining factor in whether the material is a controlled substance. All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain schedule I controlled substances,” the ruling states.
What that means in layman’s terms is that any product containing Delta-8 or Delta-9 THC — even if it was synthesized from the CBD found in the hemp plant — is now federally classified in the same way as marijuana.
In other words, these products cannot be shipped to customers from retailers through the USPS or any other shipping method, and it is now illegal to use and possess these products in states where cannabis is not legal.
This action appears to be directly aimed at online retailers who were selling and shipping Delta-8 to customers across the nation. These online retailers were operating under the presumption that the Farm Bill, which legalized industrial hemp, also effectively federally legalized the derivatives, isomers, and cannabinoids derived from hemp.
Many of these retailers claimed that as long as the products contained less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC (the 0.3% rule), the cannabinoid that gives cannabis its psychoactive properties, it was legal under the changes made by the Farm Bill. This led to an explosion of online retailers who were selling Delta-8 products in customers in prohibition states under the guise of them being legal. You can learn more about the formerly gray area with Delta-8 by clicking here.
This ruling confirms once and for all that this type of activity is illegal, and it will quickly change the face of how these retailers were doing business. Many Delta-8 online retailers have already begun to address the new ruling on their sites. You can read more on the DEA ruling here.
But, while this ruling clarifies Delta-8 THC is illegal on a federal level, it does not change state laws that allow certain users the ability to possess, sell, or use these cannabinoids in states, like Colorado and California, where cannabis is legal. These states have already legalized and regulated the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant on a state level — but sales and usage are limited to the confines of each legal state.
Delta 8 Oils has never shipped our Delta 8 vape cartridges, tinctures, or products directly to consumers. We believe in trusted partnerships and that the trusted dispensary/patient relationship is critical to the growth and success of new cannabis treatments like Delta 8 THC.