Marijuana usage is still a contentious topic both legally and conversationally as federal regulation conflicts with some state regulation of the substance. Within Ohio state, we know that current medical usage of arijuana is allowed, but cannabis has not yet been legalized for recreational use. While this can seem relatively straightforward, the rise of new Delta-8 products has provided a new loophole that can make this enforcement tricky.
What Is Delta-8?
Delta-8 is the shortened name for Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, a chemical compound found in hemp or marijuana plants. Delta-8 is still a form of THC and does have a similar chemical structure to the more commonly found Delta-9 compound, which gives the psychoactive effects in regular marijuana usage.
While Delta-8 and Delta-9 are different in structure, they do notice that consumption of Delta-8 can reproduce comparable effects to traditional Marijuana and has grown in popularity. This is similar to how CBD is marketed and sold, as it is a chemical compound found in Marijuana but falls within specific criteria where the product is not viewed as Marijuana.
Is It Legal To Possess Delta-8?
At the time of writing, Delta-8 is technically legal under state and federal law for purchase, possession, distribution, and selling because of the product's chemical structure. The reason Delta-8 is legal is that it only contains up to 0.3% Delta-9 THC content. Anything above the 0.3% Delta-9 THC threshold will be considered an illicit substance under federal and Ohio state laws.
However, in theory, this is the legality of Delta-8 products because, in practice, the product can fall under a gray area that federal agencies are operating. While the DEA has stated that naturally grown THC in hemp products that fall under the 0.3% THC threshold are legal, a problem that arises is how Delta-8 can be classified as synthetic in some cases by federal agencies.
Synthetic Vs. Natural
While Delta-8 is a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis, there are synthetic products containing Delta-8 and would be classified as illicit substances. Concerns about synthetic THC arose during an infamous rise of synthetic Marijuana that was quite harmful in the wrong hands.
However, there are Delta-8 products sold by companies that are not creating the same dangerous products, and while technically using legal hemp sources, their process for Delta-8 extraction can make the product be deemed synthetic under current DEA regulation.
Note that this is for federal law; within Ohio state, current legislation allows Delta-8 products to be regulated and sold under strict medical guidelines. This means that recreational usage is not permitted under any circumstances.
New Marijuana Laws Introduced in Ohio
Recently, Ohio state has been at the center of new legislation being introduced that could potentially alter state regulation of Marijuana. New measures introduced have been proposed to regulate Marijuana similarly to alcohol, which could introduce recreational usage within the state.
If this legislation passes, Marijuana and its related derivatives could soon be legal and available for recreational use in Ohio. While current proposals can take up to several months to be voted on, do note that it is always safer to follow the state guidelines on regulated marijuana possession or possession of derivatives of marijuana products.
If you or someone you know is deemed to be in possession of an illicit substance, call Henderson, Mokhtari & Weatherly at (216) 220-6776 and our attorneys can help schedule your free initial consultation.