Delta-8 THC is “the new kid on the block” in terms of cannabis and CBD products. As such, there is plenty of pushback on the legislative level in order to help regulate this new and growing industry. The 2018 Farm Bill seemingly opened the door for other isomers of THC, but states are quickly moving to put a cap on a market that is seemingly boiling over. Legislators are arguing over the question: Is Delta 8 legal at all?
Louisiana is a state that very recently passed two bills, HB 652, and HB 640, both of which have an effect on the cannabis industry, and Delta 8 in general as well. Again, people are scrambling with the question: Is Delta 8 legal in Louisiana?
What Louisiana Did Right… And Wrong
For one, it is worth noting that Louisiana did recently pass HB 652. This is a huge and important step in terms of progress in the deep south, which has been notoriously against the cannabis plant in all forms.
HB 652, while obviously not making cannabis federally legal, or legal on the state level. However, it made possession of up to 14 grams of cannabis a punishment of only $100, with no threat of jail time.
While obviously, federal legalization would eliminate a majority of issues like this, when looking at cannabis prohibition, this is going to have to be a process of baby steps.
The bill that is creating a bit more of a stir however, is HB 640. HB 640 prohibits the production of consumable legal hemp derived products that contain non-naturally occurring compounds.
What is strange however, is that while occurring in small amounts, Delta 8 is still a naturally occurring compound that is within the cannabis plant, it just needs to undergo a chemical process to be brought out.
This would be a fair argument, however edibles exist. When someone eats an edible, whether that be Delta 8, Delta 9, all forms of THC turn into Delta 11 Hydroxy, through a chemical process in the body. It is still, however, naturally occurring. Chemical structure matters, and Delta-8, and Delta-10 THC certainly are different in terms of their chemical makeup than Delta 9.
So What’s Next?
Cannabis companies have been pushing for the ban of Delta 8 for quite some time now. It undercuts on their industry, and Delta 8 is not subject to the same scrutiny or regulation as Delta 9.
However, Delta 8 was, at least in theory, not intended to impede on the legal cannabis market. Many people who use, or even produce Delta 8, also use Delta 9, and would hate to see either of them be harder to access than they should be.
Also considering the fact that Delta 8 is generally considered in the hemp market as opposed to the cannabis one, these companies are right to push for regulation, however banning Delta 8 doesn’t make any logistical or economic sense.
Delta 10 THC is one that has been met with much greater controversy, as there is an increased difficulty in obtaining reliable testing for it. However, anecdotal experience has shown that it offers a “sativa” type high in comparison to its Delta 8 counterpart.
Delta 8 is typically derived from crude CBD, or CBD isolate, and put through a distillation process that leaves us with what people see as that clear, or rose pink substance known as Delta 8. Delta 8 was under the Controlled Substances Act, and was grouped with Schedule I controlled substances, up until the 2018 Farm Bill freeing it from said scheduling.
Delta 8 is now seen as the fastest growing cannabinoid within the industry in general, hemp or cannabis aside. It has a number of purposes and is used in vape cartridges, edibles, concentrates, and much more. Hemp has also even been seen to have anti pest and fire retardant properties in testing of infusing concrete with hemp.
The hemp industry, as well as the cannabis one, are two that should go hand in hand. As much as they have been forced to compete with one another, I believe this is only due to the legal differences within Delta 8 and Delta 9, nothing more. Both Delta 8, and 9 retailers want full legalization across the board, and while Louisiana took an important step for the deep south, there is still more work to be done.
For now, yes, it is legal, but on the 1st of 2022, the Delta 8 THC market will no longer be able to legally exist in Louisiana. So enjoy responsibly while you can if you’re within that state.