The Great Delta-8 Debate: Many Shades of Grey?
Published At JD Supra Jennifer Benda Rachel Gillette Republished with permission, originally appeared in Cannabis Business Executive, June 9, 2022. Confused by the legal status of Delta-8? Why wouldn’t you be?… it is confusing. Delta-8 is a legally complicated derivative of the Cannabis Sativa plant. As the FDA acknowledges, “Delta-8 THC is one of over 100 cannabinoids produced naturally by the cannabis plant”, but its natural presence in Cannabis and the fact that it can be derived from federally legal “Industrial Hemp” does not make legal or safe in the eyes of the federal government or state lawmakers. The complicated process of deriving Delta-8 THC and the frenetic pace of hemp regulatory frameworks trying to keep up with changing laws causes many lawyers and business owners alike legal heartburn. So, what the heck is Delta-8 and why can I buy it at my local gas station? Well, the answer is most commercially available products containing Delta-8 are derived from “Industrial Hemp,” and hemp products are largely unregulated. “Hemp” is no longer federally illegal, and hemp and hemp products can be legally sold throughout the US. But there is no doubt Delta-8 exists in a legal grey area. Why? Because some states have acted to strictly regulate or ban Delta-8 products, while others have kept silent on the issue. Both consumers and manufacturers need clarity to understand the product and its legality. Take the recent publication of the FDA, warning “It is important for consumers to be aware that Delta-8 THC products have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for safe use in any context.”Sounds scary, right? If you are a responsible producer of Delta-8 hemp products, no doubt you want the FDA to understand you produce and manufacture safe products. But the FDA is clear these hemp derivative products may not…
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