Despite being widely labeled as hemp-derived novel cannabinoids, Delta-8 THC-O and Delta-9-THC-O have been declared illegal by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. In a letter to a law firm dated Feb. 13, 2023, the agency stated in no uncertain terms that these popular products – referred to collectively under the title THCO – are legally considered “controlled substances.” This directly contradicts with previous federal court rulings that determined delta-8 products could be considered “hemp” and thus lawful under the 2018 Farm Bill.
Note: Delta-8-THC-O and Delta-9-THC-O are different than delta-8-THC and delta-9-THC. While the latter both exist naturally in the hemp plant, THC acetate (better known as THC-O) doesn’t. That’s the underlying basis for the DEA’s position.
THC acetate is most typically a component of products like edibles and vapor cartridges. As Los Angeles cannabis business lawyers, we want to ensure any companies that currently produce, transport, stock, and sell these products take immediate note. It’s not immediately clear how this will impact the market, so it’s a smart idea to immediately consult with a cannabis lawyer on how best to proceed and ensure you’re on the right side of the law.
How the Farm Bill Factors
The 2018 Farm Bill opened the door to a number of cannabinoid products that are known to also have intoxicating properties. This has drawn the attention and ire of some politicians and interest groups. The additional scrutiny has led to legal challenges that have wound up in court. Continue reading