Why is delta 8 illegal in Colorado?

By Amber Smith
Sep 5, 2023 4:00 AM
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Delta 8 THC is a compound that has gained popularity in the cannabis industry, as it is known to provide a milder high than its counterpart Delta 9 THC. However, Delta 8 THC is illegal in Colorado, a state where marijuana is legal for both medicinal and recreational use. This has caused confusion among consumers and businesses alike, who are trying to understand why this compound is not allowed in the state.

The reason why Delta 8 THC is illegal in Colorado can be traced back to the state's definition of "marijuana". According to Colorado law, marijuana includes "all parts of the plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not, the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from any part of the plant, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or resin." This means that Delta 8 THC, which is a derivative of Delta 9 THC, falls under the state's definition of marijuana and is therefore illegal.

Additionally, the federal government's stance on Delta 8 THC is unclear, which has caused some confusion and hesitation among businesses that may want to sell it. While Delta 8 THC is not explicitly listed as a controlled substance under federal law, the DEA has stated that all synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols (THCs) are illegal. This has led some to believe that Delta 8 THC, which is typically derived from hemp, may fall under this category as it is not naturally occurring.

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Delta 8 is a cannabinoid that is found in small amounts in the cannabis plant. It is similar to THC, the primary psychoactive compound found in marijuana, but with some differences in its chemical structure. Delta 8 is known to produce a milder high compared to THC, making it an attractive option for those who want to experience the benefits of cannabis without the intense psychoactive effects.

Delta 8 is typically extracted from hemp, a variety of cannabis that contains low levels of THC. This makes it legal under federal law, which allows for the production and sale of hemp-derived products. However, some states have taken a different approach and have banned the sale and possession of delta 8, including Colorado.

The reason for this ban is due to the ambiguity surrounding the legality of delta 8. While it is derived from hemp, which is legal under federal law, it is still a psychoactive substance that can produce a high. This has led to confusion among lawmakers and law enforcement agencies, who are unsure how to regulate its use.

Furthermore, there are concerns about the safety of delta 8, as there is limited research on its effects on the body. Some studies suggest that it may have similar health risks as THC, such as impaired driving and addiction. Without more research, it is difficult to determine the long-term effects of delta 8 on the body.

Delta 8 THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid that is found in trace amounts in the cannabis plant. It is a structural analog of Delta 9 THC, which is the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis. Delta 8 THC has been gaining popularity in the United States due to its reported milder psychoactive effects and potential therapeutic benefits.

However, the legal status of Delta 8 THC in the United States is a complex issue. Delta 8 THC is currently legal at the federal level under the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp and hemp-derived products containing less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC. Since Delta 8 THC is derived from hemp, it falls under this definition and is legal at the federal level.

However, the legal status of Delta 8 THC varies from state to state. Some states have explicitly banned Delta 8 THC, while others have not yet addressed its legality. Colorado is one of the states that has banned Delta 8 THC. In March 2021, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued a bulletin stating that Delta 8 THC is illegal under state law. The bulletin cited the state's definition of "marijuana concentrate," which includes any "extract, concentrate, or other substance" containing more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC.

It is important to note that the legality of Delta 8 THC is a rapidly evolving issue, and the information presented here may not be up-to-date or accurate in the future. Consumers should always check their state and local laws before purchasing or using Delta 8 THC products.

Why is Delta 8 Illegal in Colorado?

Delta 8 THC is a psychoactive compound that is found in small amounts in hemp plants. It is a close cousin to Delta 9 THC, which is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. Delta 8 THC is known for its milder psychoactive effects and is often used for medicinal purposes.

However, Delta 8 THC is currently illegal in Colorado. This is because the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has classified Delta 8 THC as a controlled substance. The CDPHE has stated that Delta 8 THC is a synthetic cannabinoid and is therefore illegal under Colorado law.

The CDPHE's classification of Delta 8 THC as a synthetic cannabinoid is based on the fact that it can be derived from hemp, which is a legal substance under federal law. However, the process of converting CBD, which is a non-psychoactive compound found in hemp, into Delta 8 THC involves the use of chemicals that are not natural and can be harmful.

The CDPHE has also expressed concerns about the safety of Delta 8 THC products that are currently on the market. These products are often unregulated and may contain harmful contaminants or inaccurate labeling. The CDPHE has also warned that Delta 8 THC products can be addictive and may have harmful effects on the brain.

Comparison with Other States

Delta 8 THC's legality varies from state to state. In Colorado, it is illegal, but it is legal in some other states. Here's a comparison of Delta 8 THC's legality in some other states:

  • Michigan: Delta 8 THC is legal in Michigan. The state legalized it in 2018 when it legalized recreational marijuana.

  • Vermont: Delta 8 THC is legal in Vermont. The state legalized it in 2020 when it legalized recreational marijuana.

  • Kentucky: Delta 8 THC is legal in Kentucky. The state legalized it in 2021 when it passed a bill that legalized hemp and hemp-derived products.

  • North Carolina: Delta 8 THC is illegal in North Carolina. The state's hemp law only allows for the cultivation, processing, and sale of hemp and hemp-derived products that contain less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC.

It is important to note that Delta 8 THC's legality is constantly evolving, and it is important to stay up-to-date on the laws in your state.

Implications of the Illegality

The illegality of Delta 8 THC in Colorado has several implications for the state and its residents. Firstly, it limits the availability of Delta 8 THC products in the state, forcing consumers to seek them elsewhere. This can lead to a loss of revenue for local businesses that would otherwise sell Delta 8 THC products.

Secondly, the illegality of Delta 8 THC in Colorado creates a potential black market for the product. This can lead to a lack of regulation and quality control, putting consumers at risk of purchasing unsafe or contaminated products. It also creates a potential source of income for criminal organizations.

Thirdly, the illegality of Delta 8 THC in Colorado can lead to confusion for consumers who are not aware of the state's laws. This can result in unintentional violations of the law and legal consequences for individuals who are caught in possession of Delta 8 THC products.

Potential Changes in the Future

While the legality of Delta-8 THC remains a contentious issue in Colorado, there are potential changes that could occur in the future. One possibility is that the state could follow in the footsteps of other states and ban Delta-8 THC outright. This would be a significant shift from the current situation, where the compound is only illegal if it is derived from marijuana.

Another potential change could be a revision of Colorado's marijuana laws to include Delta-8 THC. This would mean that the compound would be subject to the same regulations and restrictions as other forms of cannabis. It could also potentially lead to the creation of a legal market for Delta-8 THC products in the state.

It is also possible that federal regulations could change in the future, which could impact the legality of Delta-8 THC in Colorado. The federal government could choose to either regulate the compound more strictly or loosen restrictions on it. This would have a significant impact on the legal status of Delta-8 THC in Colorado and other states.

Overall, the future of Delta-8 THC in Colorado remains uncertain. While there are potential changes that could occur, it is impossible to predict exactly how the legal landscape will evolve. As such, individuals in Colorado should be aware of the current laws surrounding Delta-8 THC and stay up-to-date on any potential changes that may occur in the future.

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