Delta-8 in Wisconsin, known as 'weed light,' openly sold across state | Turn 420
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Delta 8 Thc

Delta-8 in Wisconsin, known as ‘weed light,’ openly sold across state



CBD stores, headshops, gas stations and more are taking advantage of a gray area in federal law to sell cannabis products that can get users high, despite marijuana being illegal in Wisconsin. 

Delta-8-THC, sometimes called “weed light,” is being sold openly across Wisconsin in gummies, vape pens and pre-rolled joints. It gained popularity during the last year and is easy to buy. 

It’s an isomer of the Delta-9-THC compound, the most common psychoactive ingredient of weed. Delta-8 and Delta-9 have the same chemical formula but different arrangements of their atoms. 

The gray area was created when the 2018 Farm Bill allowed hemp growers to make industrial hemp, allowing cannabidiol (CBD) and other hemp-based products to be produced and infused into things like gummies and oils.

The law specifically said that Delta-9-THC, the most abundant psychoactive compound of cannabis, could not make up more than 0.3% of a product.

But there are other psychoactive isomers found in small quantities in hemp plants. One is Delta-8, which is widely sold and advertised in Wisconsin and other states. 

A sign advertises Delta-8 products at Kind Oasis CBD on North Farwell Avenue in Milwaukee  on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. Kind Oasis sells Delta-8 products, a Hemp-derived product that is sold around Wisconsin that produces a similar “high” that cannabis produces while still being legal.

“It’s a molecule that is shaped closely enough to (Delta-9) that it plugs into the same receptors. It flips the same switches,” said Chris Lindsey, vice president of public policy at the U.S. Cannabis Council (USCC) based in D.C. 

Basically, it can get users high. 

Wisconsin is doing little to address Delta-8 in the state legislature, according to state Senator Chris Larson. 

Like the USCC, Larson hopes Wisconsin will legalize and regulate cannabis. 

“Then it becomes a lot easier to regulate deviations of the products that do the same thing,” Larson said. “We need to treat it the same way we do with alcohol, making sure that people don’t operate machinery or drive, and keep it out of the reach of kids.” 

Larson’s office said he has not been approached about any legislation to address Delta-8. 

The Democratic senator’s district, which includes Milwaukee, is home to Delta-8-related businesses Goodland Extracts, Kind Oasis, and Sweetly Baked. 

“The folks that I know who have been producing Delta-8 are doing it with the customers in mind,” he said, “but I think that it’s a ticking time bomb for something to go wrong.”  

Lindsey and the cannabis council do not oppose Delta-8 as a product, but they argue that it needs to be regulated the same way other THC products are. 

“It’s like everything,” Lindsey said. “We advocate to legalize and regulate.”

Because the concentration of Delta-8 in hemp plants is small, most Delta-8 on the shelves is created chemically instead of being naturally sourced. That creates a risk of unknown additives and can make it more dangerous than buying cannabis flower off the streets. 

“Unfortunately, it’s kind of true,” he said. “While it’s possible to contaminate a flower, it’s got to be very unusual compared to something that has been made in the lab.”

The USCC released a study that found heavy metals, residual solvents and other unknown compounds in Delta-8 products that were being sold in various states where marijuana was either illegal or legal.

The council also found that all investigated samples contained a mixture of THC isomers that were primarily Delta-8 but contained levels of Delta-9 “substantially higher” than the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s upper limit of 0.3%. 

In March, two children had a nonfatal overdose after unintentionally ingesting a CBD-related product a parent had bought from a Menomonee Falls store. The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department raided the shop and found multiple products sold as CBD or Delta-8 that had Delta-9-THC levels higher than 20%, the department said. 

Testing Delta-8 products

Producers of Delta-8 products say it can have the same benefits as medical marijuana.

“That’s something we really contemplate,” Lindsey said. “What we’re concerned about is the unregulated health consequences. It always comes back to the overall health and safety of this stuff.” 

Amanda Buhrman owns Sweetly Baked, an online CBD and Delta-8 bakery based in Milwaukee. She sells Delta-8 products to users who consume products both medically and recreationally. 

“I’m cautious about any medical claims, but I actually do have quite a few consumers who use my products for sleep and pain. Because it’s legal, it’s easier for them to access than THC, even for medical reasons,” she said. 

Buhrman sells non-infused bakery items, CBD-infused items and Delta-8 infused items. 

“I would say that I definitely sell more Delta-8,” Buhrman said. It makes up about 50% of her sales. 

Buhrman said ahead of opening her bakery earlier this year, she did research on how to responsibly sell Delta-8. She came across Goodland Extracts, a CBD manufacturer in Milwaukee. 

Goodland Extracts Vice President President Ryan Pattee said his company only sells “raw hemp products,” including highly refined CBD distillates and isolates. Goodland Extracts works with “conversion companies” to get Delta-8 to Buhrman and other customers. 

Those conversion companies take the isolate form of CBD, which Pattee can provide, and make it into Delta-8. 

Goodland Extracts makes sure that the Delta-8 that it sources for its customers passes testing by Kaycha Labs, which Pattee called the gold standard lab in the hemp industry. 

There are a handful of Delta-8 providers in Milwaukee that have products that are well tested, but it’s on the consumer to weed them out from untested and possibly dangerous products. 

Kind Oasis CBD co-owner Salem Kashou stands before an assortment of Delta-8 products at Kind Oasis CBD on North Farwell Avenue in Milwaukee  on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. Kind Oasis sells Delta-8 products, a Hemp-derived product that is sold around Wisconsin that produces a similar “high” that cannabis produces while still being legal.

“I think the key is for the customer to visit a CBD-based store. You want the people behind the counter to understand what they are selling you,” said Salem Kashou, co-owner of Kind Oasis CBD and Delta-8 store. “On the label, you want to look for a link that shows the lab results and the website.” 

Kashou and his team regularly send products to a DEA-registered lab in Florida to make sure that there is the advertised amount of Delta-8 or CBD in the product, and to make sure there is not more than 0.3% of Delta-9-THC, as required by law.

“If we claim 25 milligrams on the package, the gummies should have 25 milligrams. That’s important for the end user,” Kashou said. “The promise on the package should meet the experience.”

They also check the Delta-8 compound before it is added to products to make sure it does not have unwanted additives like metals. About 75 lab results are available on the Kind Oasis website for CBD and Delta-8 products. 

“We spend a lot of time lab-testing, just to make sure everything meets our criteria,” Kashou said. 

Peanut butter toffee crunch with Delta-8 for sale at Kind Oasis CBD on North Farwell Avenue in Milwaukee  on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. Kind Oasis sells Delta-8 products, a hemp-derived product that is sold around Wisconsin that produces a similar “high” that cannabis produces while still being legal.

He said Delta-8 makes up a majority of his business, and it would hurt his business if he could not sell the product. 

Some states are working to outlaw Delta-8. In Texas, for example, the state health department is battling Delta-8 providers over whether it is a Schedule I drug. 

A legal proceeding found that the Texas Department of State Health Services didn’t comply with the state’s rule-making requirements when it added Delta-8 to the Schedule I drug list on Oct. 15, allowing the sale of Delta-8 in the state for now. 

Not just Delta-8

Even if Delta-8 is outlawed, there are other products in the works and already being sold in Wisconsin, like other isomers of Delta-9, including Delta-10 and THC-0.

Another new hemp product legally getting users high is something called “compliant cannabis.” 

Drew Faude, president of companies Partnered Process and Compliant Products, both based in Waukesha, produces gummies through the latter business that contain 10 milligrams of Delta-9-THC.

The gummies are a 5-gram mixture containing 130-plus milligrams of CBD and and 100-plus milligrams of cannibgerol (CBG), and 10 milligrams of Delta-9-THC. Each gummy is the size of a stack of four nickels, Faude said.  

That ratio keeps the Delta-9-THC levels compliant with the less than 0.3% required by the farm bill. 

“It’s in the USDA Farm Bill, so I don’t see how it could be canceled,” Faude said. “It’s a workaround to have medical marijuana.” 

Weed gummies in states where Delta-9-THC is legal, like Illinois or Michigan, commonly sell 10-milligram THC gummies that users take to feel high. 

“I’ve had people from Illinois try my product and prefer them because of the high levels of CBD and CBG with the Delta-9 have an entourage effect,” Faude said.  

His companies do not sell Delta-8 products because Faude has not seen enough research on possible negative effects of the isomer. His companies also stay away from using manufactured components, which most Delta-8 products are. 

“We live in a world of preservatives and fake color in our food,” Faude said. “We look at this as a health product, and regardless if people are taking it recreationally or medicinally, we want it to be something natural from the plant. That’s the stamp of approval that we’re going to push on our team.” 

Faude was also concerned about the lack of regulation in the cannabis industry. 

“Wisconsin has some of the most lean regulation,” he said. “It can create problems with bad players in the field.”  

Jordyn Noennig covers Wisconsin culture and lifestyle.  Follow her on Instagram @JordynTaylor_n. Find her on Twitter @JordynTNoennig. Call her at 262-446-6601 or email

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