Because of its similarity to cannabis, a once-unknown cannabinoid known as Delta 8 has gained popularity over the last couple of years, particularly in areas like Texas where cannabis (which contains more than 0.3% THC) is prohibited.
Walk into any head shop or CBD store in Texas, and you’ll probably find Delta 8 on the shelves in gummy, vape cartridge, or tincture form.
But the legality of this cannabinoid is murky and its manufacture is primarily unregulated.
What is Delta 8? Is Delta 8 legal in Texas? Will Texas laws change in the future? – We’re so glad you asked, as we’ll cover all this and more in this article.
What is Delta 8?
Since we’ve already covered this in detail in another blog article, we won’t go into too much detail today
Tip: Find our Master Guide to Delta 8 THC here.
But let’s do a quick recap to jog your memory or introduce you to Delta 8 in case you’re unfamiliar.
Here’s what you need to know about Delta 8:
- It’s a hemp-derived cannabinoid
- The effects are comparable to THC/cannabis
- The effects may include euphoria and relaxation
- It produces a more mellow high than Delta 9
What Makes Delta 8 So Popular?
Delta 8 has gained popularity because it’s considered a legal substitute for cannabis. We’ll discuss the question of “Is Delta 8 Legal?” in detail later on.
But here’s the short version: The reason why Delta 8 can be manufactured, sold, and legally used in a number of states, including Texas, is due to legal oversight.
As many places, including Texas, have tight regulations against cannabis use, Delta-8 THC is seen as a safe alternative to pot. Without any restrictions from the law or the government, several shops in Texas are selling Delta 8. And that’s why it’s so popular. It offers a way for cannabis enthusiasts to enjoy a THC-like buzz, without legal red tape. \
Is Delta 8 Legal in Texas?
The quick answer to this would be yes, but it’s a little more complicated than that. So read on to learn more about Delta 8 legality in Texas and whether or not you can be arrested and charged for having it.
Although not officially prohibited by law, they’re also not explicitly legalized either. Because of this, it’s in a murky legal situation that is now being litigated in court.
The Texas Department of Health and Human Services (DSHS) modified its website in October 2021 to make it clear to the general public that Delta 8 was a Schedule 1 drug and hence prohibited. Retailers of CBD and hemp products contested it in court, arguing that it went against what they believed to be now-legal hemp products under federal and state regulations. Retailers received a temporary injunction on the state’s prohibition, which has so far been maintained by an appeals court, and lawsuits were launched in an effort to prevent DSHS from criminalizing it.
The Texas Supreme Court declined the DSHS’ request to hear the case and restore the product prohibition. A final hearing that was scheduled for January 2022 was called off.
We’ll have to wait and see whether or not this will be the case in the future. It was a hot topic during the last parliamentary session and is presently being discussed in court. There were two pieces of legislation that would have made it illegal in Texas, but neither came to fruition.
The good news is that Delta 8 remains legal in Texas (for now).
Why Is There So Much Confusion About the 2018 Farm Bill?
With the approval of the 2018 Federal Farm Bill and House Bill 1325 in 2019, which made it legal to produce hemp and hemp-derived products on condition that it contains under 0.3% THC, shops all around Texas started selling legal cannabinoids, including Delta 8.
But the DSHS later declared that Delta 8 was categorized as a schedule 1 controlled substance, a classification reserved for narcotics like heroin that have no recognized medicinal value. Hence the legal uncertainty.
What’s the Difference Between Cannabis and Hemp?
This distinction is crucial, as it is entirely dependent on the amount of THC (which is still illegal if it exceeds 0.3%) in the plant. Whereas cannabis often contains up to 15-20% THC, hemp normally has less than 0.3% THC.
Since hemp is federally legal, all hemp-derived compounds, except THC, are completely legal. This includes Delta 8. This is because Texas abides by this federal decision and permits the sale, distribution, possession, and use of Delta 8 THC under state law.
Conclusion: Delta 8 Legality
To summarize, Delta 8 is a hemp-derived cannabinoid that has gained popularity in Texas because of its similarity to cannabis, which is prohibited in the state. It produces a gentler high than Delta 9, making it an appealing option for anyone who wants to enjoy a THC-like buzz without legal complications.
Delta 8 is considered legal in Texas, but its legal status is still being litigated in court. The Texas Department of Health and Human Services initially modified its website to make it clear to the public that Delta 8 is a Schedule 1 drug and hence prohibited, but retailers of CBD and hemp products contested this in court and received a temporary injunction. The DSHS’s request for the Texas Supreme Court to review the case and reinstate the product restriction was denied, and a final hearing that was planned for January 2022 was canceled.
So, is Delta 8 legal in Texas? At present, yes it is, but it’s in a murky legal situation that is still being debated in court. But we’ll keep you posted on any developments.
Live in Texas? Shop the Golden Goat Delta 8 range – it’s legal!
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