As many people are starting to observe the various benefits of the use of hemp, there has been broad debate and lobbying on the product’s legality. The questions of the legality of THC are often viewed from the lens of the effects of the substance. Cannabis is considered abhorrent in many communities if it can cause a high. For others, they consider the substance very addictive and, as such, would want to avoid it.
In the United States, the question of the legality of THC is left to the purview of the states. According to the 10th Amendment, any aspect of the law that the Federal Constitution, and by extension, Federal Laws, do not govern, states are allowed to discuss and determine on their own. Thus, regarding THC, nearly every state in the US has its laws and regulations. Such laws sometimes cause conflict between states as far as enforcement is concerned, as was seen in the suit Nevada filed in the Supreme Court against Colorado in 2016. Here is how Delta 8 THC works in Texas.
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Delta 8 THC: What Have We Here?
This discussion seeks to answer the question: Is Delta 8 legal in Texas? However, to comprehensively understand the response to that question, you must first consider what Delta 8 THC is. Many people use the terms hemp, cannabis, and marijuana interchangeably. This misnomer has brought a lot of confusion regarding the legality of the Texas component since people have yet to differentiate between the compounds. This difference lies in the identity of THC.
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THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids or components of the hemp or cannabis plant. Alongside CBD or cannabidiol, it is one of the plant’s two most prominent and prevalent components. What distinguishes THC from CBD, and by extension, all other cannabinoids in the plant, is its psychoactive capabilities. THC causes psychoactivity in different proportions depending on the isomer and the strain of the plant. Therefore, state and federal laws discussing the legalization of cannabis stem from regulating THC content.
Delta 8 THC is one of the isomers of THC in the plant. Other common isomers are Delta 9 and Delta 10. While cannabis and hemp have some Delta 8 THC content, hemp ordinarily has less than 0.3% THC content. When any of the cannabis plant’s derivatives have more than 0.3% THC content, then that is marijuana. State laws in many states have a strong stance against marijuana, just as with Texas.
Federal Laws Governing The Legality of THC in Texas
The primary federal statute on Delta 8 THC that governs the regime of the product in Texas is the Farm Bill of 2018. The Farm Bill also goes by the name Agricultural Improvement Act. This law was revolutionary because it legalized different hemp plant components for use, provided they had less than 0.3% THC content. All the laws provided a framework for states to work around regarding cannabis legislation. Thus, states must abide by this law and decriminalize the use of hemp with low THC content.
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Another clarification the law provided, which operates under the DEA Interim Rules, is that synthetically manufactured derivatives of THC are impermissible and are considered Controlled Substances since they have more than 0.3% THC content in the substance, even though the original plant from which the THC was obtained had less than 0.3% THC. These laws also apply to Texas. Provided the substance you buy has less than 0.3% THC, you have nothing to worry about.
Texas State Law on Delta 8 THC
As discussed above, the 10th Amendment allows every state the freedom to determine its laws as long as the Federal Laws do not touch on the subject matter. The legalization of marijuana and cannabis is one such instance. Provided that state and federal laws are not in conflict, the state laws hold supreme in such regard.
Texas’s main state law discussion Delta 8 THC is House Bill 1325. This House Bill, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in 2019, brings all state legislation in conformity with the Farm Bill. According to this statute, all Delta 8 THC that falls below the threshold of 0.3% is legal and permissible for use. There have been attempts by state legislation to expand the limitation threshold through House Bill 2593, but most of these plans failed. This Bill, for example, fell on the committee stage.
The repercussions of possessing more than the permitted THC in Texas are steep. However, there has been wide lobbying for relaxing those laws to conform to social standards and norms. For example, possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, which attracts a fine of up to $2,000, a 180-day stint in prison, or both.
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There you have it, a complete analysis of the legal regime of Delta 8 THC in the Lone Star state. As you have seen, the interplay between state and federal laws is steep in Delta 8 THC. However, as lobbyists continue to make strides concerning decriminalizing recreational cannabis, you never know. Things might change.