Oct 14, 2021 - News

Delta-8 THC is being advertised as legal in Texas

Illustration of a hand holding a beaker with a green liquid and a marijuana leaf inside

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A popular cannabinoid is being sold in stores and advertised on billboards across North Texas as legal THC.

Why it matters: The legality of delta-8 THC, which has a slightly different chemical structure that makes it less potent than "regular" marijuana, is murky.

  • This legal ambiguity has produced a large, unregulated industry that cultivates and sells delta-8 in flower, vape, edible and concentrate form.
  • Delta-8 has become a new front line in the state's battle over weed legalization.

Context: A representative of the Department of State Health Services testified in May that delta-8 is an illegal substance covered under the Texas Controlled Substance Act.

Yes, but: Delta-8 is naturally occurring and extracted from hemp, which was legalized as part of the 2018 Farm Bill.

  • Legal hemp and products derived from hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive compound that gives people the euphoric high.
  • Legislation that aimed to ban delta-8 in Texas failed during the state's most recent legislative session.
  • More than a dozen other states have restricted its sale or use.

What they're saying: "The cat's out of the bag," Heather Fazio, director of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, tells Axios.

  • "Texas can't reasonably go back to a state of prohibition. It's time to seriously consider regulation. It's time to talk about keeping it out of the hands of kids when it comes to packaging and advertising."

Of note: Delta-8 THC will trigger a positive result in most drug tests.

Be smart: With no oversight, buying delta-8 is a consumer-beware endeavor. Some delta-8 products have QR codes where you can see the lab where it was tested.


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