Ever since some states legalized cannabis, there has been a booming business in that industry that has flourished in states like Texas, where any product containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is illegal. THC products such as Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 CBD bind to the cannabinoid receptors in our brain and body, creating an intoxicating and psychoactive effect. While these varieties are just a half to a third as powerful as other THC products, they are still potent.
As cannabis in general gains traction across Texas, many people have been wondering whether it is legal to possess Delta-8 THC products in Texas. If you ask officials with the Texas Department of Health and Safety (DHS), it has always been illegal since all forms of cannabis containing THC are illegal on a federal level.
What the Code Says
Until the week of October 17, Texas law allowed consumable hemp products with less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. Since Delta-9 was originally stated specifically in the law and Delta-8 was omitted, both businesses and consumers interpreted that products containing less than 0.5% Delta-8 were legal. For months, however, consumers have been purchasing Delta-8 products from local smoke and vape shops as well as online.
In mid-October 2021, the Texas Department of Health and Safety changed the verbiage on its website to close the Delta-8 loophole, declaring:
“Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 443 (HSC 443), established by House Bill 1325 (86th Legislature), allows Consumable Hemp Products in Texas that do not exceed 0.3% Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). All other forms of THC, including Delta-8 in any concentration and Delta-9 exceeding 0.3%, are considered Schedule I controlled substances.”
They also provided a list of other Schedule I controlled substances, which are, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, “…drugs, substances, or chemicals (that) are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are: heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote.”
Delta-8: Previous Legal Status
Up until a few weeks ago, Delta-8 was legal in 30 states, as it was known to offer pain relief, create a state of mild euphoria, and uplift feelings.
Since there was a lack of research on its effects, Delta-8 CBD was specifically illegal in 15 states: Arizona, Colorado, Alaska, Delaware, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Idaho, Montana, Mississippi, North Dakota, New York, Utah, Vermont, and Rhode Island.
These states banned the compound because it chemically modified/converted naturally occurring cannabinoids from industrial hemp, a process that was deemed illegal.
Delta-8: Current Legal Status
Until the DHS changed its verbiage on its website, Texans could enjoy the recreational and medicinal drug without facing any charges. They lived in one of the 30 states that could legally possess Delta-8 CBD.
Since DHS clarified its stance, making the drug illegal, anyone caught possessing the compound can be charged with drug possession.
What Caused the Shift?
Delta-8 CBD wasn’t just deemed illegal in Texas out of nowhere. In fact, this decision had been a long time coming. It had been in motion for months but was only passed the week of October 17.
In a recent investigation, a testing lab uncovered traces of toxic chemicals and questionable compounds in three Delta-8 products. This discovery was one of the many factors that set its illegality into motion. Due to the lack of research, Delta-8 is simply too questionable to be deemed safe and legal across the state, according to DHS.
The future of Delta-8 is still up in the air. Presently, all Texans are advised to err on the side of caution and avoid consuming, possessing, manufacturing, trafficking, or selling the compound. In the future, however, its legal status could still change.
If you were recently charged with the possession of Delta-8 CBD, you need an experienced drug possession lawyer to help defend your rights. Call Attorney JL Carpenter.
Over the years, she has worked on numerous drug possession, manufacturing, trafficking, and selling cases—both simple and complex. She works closely with each client to understand the nuances of the case. She builds aggressive cases that establish reasonable doubt, based on the gathered insight and her extensive experience.
Click here to contact her today. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Texas, JL also works on DWI, family violence, and domestic violence cases.