Delta-8 THC: It’s Time To Regulate Like Cannabis | Turn 420
Connect with us

Delta 8 Thc

Delta-8 THC: It’s Time To Regulate Like Cannabis



Delta-8 THC products have created a puzzling situation for states across the nation, because while they can produce a similar psychoactive effect to marijuana, they remain legal and largely unregulated federally. They are also increasingly available – in many places, you could even pick one up at a gas station. That lack of regulation, then, can cause quality and safety inconsistencies, putting consumers at risk.

States could address this with one simple solution: uniformly step up their regulation of delta-8 THC products and start tracking them like legal cannabis.

Delta-8 THC has escaped regulation so far largely because of the difference between plants within the cannabis sativa family. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, any cannabis sativa plant that contains more than 0.3% delta-9 THC is considered marijuana and remains illegal at the federal level.

Recently, however, delta-8 THC, which is less potent than delta-9 THC but induces a comparable high, entered the mainstream. Since the restriction on THC content set out in the 2018 Farm Bill applies only to delta-9 THC, producers can still legally sell delta-8 THC products in states with no legal marijuana market. Indiana, for example, has some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country, yet smoke shops, CBD dispensaries, and even gas stations in the state sell delta-8 products from edibles to vapes with no accountability for their quality.

While 32 other states also allow delta-8 THC product sales, some states have recently restricted access to them. In fact, of the 18 states that have restricted access to delta-8 THC, some are the most marijuana-friendly states in the country, including Colorado, Vermont, and Washington. In these three states, regulators set out rules to restrict the manufacturing and distribution of delta-8 in the absence of legislative action.

The popularity of delta-8 THC and lack of regulation for it has caught the attention of federal agencies too. In September 2021, the Food and Drug Administration released a public health advisory reminding consumers that, to date, no delta-8 THC products have been evaluated or approved by the agency. Additionally, it cites concerns over the methods used to derive delta-8 THC synthetically, which requires the use of potentially harmful chemicals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance as well, warning Americans about the potential health consequences of delta-8 products, as reports of hospitalizations and adverse health incidents have risen.

That’s why it’s promising to see some states begin to regulate the product like cannabis. Recent legislation in Michigan brought delta-8 markets in line with the state’s legal marijuana industry, placing the substance under the purview of the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency, restricting use to those aged 21 and up and requiring products to be tracked, tested, and regulated like cannabis to ensure consumer safety. More states should follow Michigan’s lead.

Regulating delta-8 THC using advanced technologies, as states already do for other THC products, could help government ensure the market is safe and secure for all consumers.

Regulating delta-8 THC products like cannabis would also avoid one of the major pitfalls of the vaping crisis. Outside of well-run and regulated markets, state governments were largely unable to identify the source of the public health crisis, forcing them to implement sweeping bans without being able to do so efficiently or effectively. States can’t wait for a delta-8 THC crisis; they should act now.

As the delta-8 THC market inevitably grows, states should create a safe, well-regulated legal market similar to those already in place for cannabis. By studying its health impacts, tracking products from seed to sale, and taking the proper regulatory precautions, policymakers can ensure consumers remain safe, which should always be the primary goal.

Read the full article here



Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest news directly to your inbox.