is cbd legal in texas 2021

TEXAS — Delta-8 THC is regarded as a chemical cousin of marijuana’s main intoxicating ingredient, and as its popularity has soared, states have been reckoning with its legality.

What You Need To Know

If there was any question in Texas, an update to the Department of State Health Services’ website has put that to rest. It’s illegal in the Lone Star State.

The chemical, called delta-8 THC, is billed as producing a milder high than the better known delta-9 THC, and delta-8 is often marketed as being legal even where marijuana is not. That argument stems from the fact that most delta-8 is synthesized from CBD, a popular non-intoxicating chemical that’s prevalent in hemp, a form of cannabis that Congress legalized in 2018.

“It has been shown to be inebriating,” said Morgan Fox, Media Relations Director for the National Cannabis Industry Association.

Fox fears that’s not the case with all shops and manufacturers out there right now selling and making Delta 8 though. He said without regulatory rules for cannabis in each state, customers can’t be assured of what they’re getting.

Fisher’s Delta 8 products carry QR codes, like all of the rest of his products, that lead to extensive scientific and manufacturing info about each one. He said they pride themselves on only offering high quality products that meet high safety standards and only go to those aged 21 and up.

“People are looking for a product that does relatively what cannabis does but falls within a legal gray area,” said Fox.

Currently, the Texas Legislature is nearing the end of their 2021 session and still working through several bills aiming to do things like expand research into the medicinal properties of psychedelics, expand the THC levels allowed in compassionate use of medical cannabis and decriminalize marijuana possession. Each of those bills remain in different stages with the deadline looming, but at least one took on an added amendment during debate to add laws in the state concerning the levels of Delta 8 THC allowed in products as well as Delta 9, and effectively put an end to much of the Delta 8 on the market in the state.

For Austin resident Samantha Peters, Delta-8 gummies have been the cure to lifelong sleep issues. Delta-8 THC has also been a “godsend” for the sleep issues and pain of Peters’ father, who has had six surgeries to treat his spinal stenosis.

“There was no real change in law, no real change in enforcement, just a change on a webpage,” Millman said. “I’ve heard from customers that other stores have taken products off shelves, which we are not going to do until there is a concrete decision.”

On Monday, state District Judge Jan Soifer granted a hemp retailer’s request for a temporary injunction against the state’s ban on Delta-8. The request was previously denied in a ruling on Oct. 25. The state is expected to appeal.

Delta-8 THC, a less potent alternative to marijuana’s Delta-9 THC that has recently come under scrutiny, once again can be legally sold in Texas — for now.

Texas claims Delta-8 was never legal and offered ‘clarification’ at request of hemp growers

Selling hemp products is a part of that mission, Gilkey said. A veteran himself, Gilkey has seen first-hand the toll that war trauma can take on veterans. Cannabinoids, he said, can help veterans ease anxiety and post-traumatic stress.

As for HB 1325, which legalized the production and distribution of hemp products in Texas, state health press officer Lara Anton told the Statesman that HB 1325 didn’t legalize Delta-8 THC because it only legalized products containing hemp, and hemp is defined on the state and federal level as cannabis that contains 0.3% or less Delta-9 THC — not Delta-8.

But the 2018 Farm Bill allows individual states to diverge from the federal controlled substance schedule, and Department of State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt did just that in September 2020, when he rejected the Drug Enforcement Agency’s modification to legalize all hemp products, including Delta-8 THC. DSHS published an official notice declaring Delta-8 as a Schedule I drug on the Texas Register in January 2021, as The Dallas Morning News reported last month.

History of Delta-8 battle

Oz Millman, the owner of Austin hemp supplier Green Herbal Care, said that since he expanded his originally CBD-only shop to include Delta-8 products, they’ve come to account for 90% of his sales.

According to Anton, law enforcement would be responsible for investigating possession.