Delta-8 is Legal Again in Texas, For Now
It looks like Texas' on-again, off-again love affair with Delta-8 is back on again.
Texas Authorities are Struggling to Define Delta-8 as "Legal" or "Illegal"
It's been less than a month since Texas authorities made it crystal-clear that products containing Delta-8 THC (often referred to as "Weed-Light" or "Diet-Pot") were absolutely illegal. When you consider that the chemical is just one, measly molecule off from Delta-9 THC (the chemical component of regular marijuana that gets you high) - it's kind of surprising that it was ever even mistaken a legal substance in the first place. That is until you look into the recent laws that govern another new cash-crop in the Lone Star State: Hemp.
The Confusion Over Delta-8's Legality in Texas Stems from the 2019 Farm Bill
When the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1325 in June 2019, it officially made farming hemp for industrial purposes legal. The wording of that bill left what many considered a legal-loophole for Delta-8 products. Specifically, it's the part of the law that refers to the amount of THC in a plant that would make it legal or illegal. The legal strain of cannabis sativa that can be called "hemp" must have a concentration of less than 0.3% THC. The problem comes when you realize that the law is talking about Delta-9 THC, as it does not specifically name Delta-8 THC.
Texas Law Didn't Specifically Call Out Delta-8 as Illegal. That's a Loophole
That loophole led to smoke shops, tobacco stores, and vape shops to sell Delta-8 products in the open because it was believed to be perfectly legal. After a very confused College Station, Texas woman was arrested in October and charged with a felony for possessing Delta-8, the Texas Department of Health clarified the fact that it was (and had been since January of 2021) wholly illegal. A conviction on possession of this substance could earn you a two-year prison sentence as well as up to $10,000 in fines.
Delta-8 is Technically Legal in Texas Right Now
The latest turn of events in understanding the very confusing legality of Delta-8 finds it legal again, if only temporarily. According to the Texas Tribune, State district court Judge Jan Soifer granted a temporary injunction against the state yesterday to ensure selling or obtaining Delta-8 is not a felony offense. At the center of this ruling is how unfair the sudden announcement on October 15th about this substance's illegal status was on retailers who had it on shelves. Legitimate businesses were turned into illegal drug houses in an instant. Judge Soifer's ruling is based on the fact that the state did not give these businesses enough notice to adequately comply.
It's a sure bet that this won't be the last we hear about this fight, but for now - Delta-8 is legal again in Texas!