The cannabis laws in the United States, including Hemp-Derived THC, are anything but clear. Access in many states has improved, but federal prohibition continues to murky the waters regarding THC. Recently, cannabinoid hemp companies have manipulated the cannabis plant’s chemical composition and vague federal regulations to bring legal THC products to customers across the US. In this post, we will explore the new phenomenon in the cannabis community and explain the legality of hemp-derived THC. We hope our readers will gain a better understanding of cannabis laws and be able to navigate the new industry with confidence.
Is Hemp-Derived Delta-9 THC Legal?
Since 2018, cannabis containing 0.3% THC or less has been categorized as hemp and 100% legal on the federal level. As a result, a consumer industry emerged centered around the medicinal benefits of CBD. As the hype faded and demand for CBD products leveled off, manufacturers began experimenting with new hemp extracts.
Companies that were once selling just CBD expanded into new forms of THC, including Delta-8, Delta-10, HHC, and THC-O. These compounds are produced by manipulating CBD using heat and pressure to alter the chemical composition. Because Delta-9 THC is the only form of the cannabinoid mentioned in the Farm Bill, isomers (which are simply different THC varieties) are technically legal as long as they are derived from hemp.
Recently cannabinoid hemp companies have utilized another workaround that allows hemp-derived THC to be sold legally.
Shortcomings of The Farm Bill
The Federal 2018 Farm Bill defines legal hemp as “cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) and derivatives of cannabis with extremely low concentrations of the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis.”
According to businesses selling hemp-derived THC products, they are in the clear if the amount of THC they are selling is 0.3% of their product’s “dry weight.”
While thousands of people are now given access to THC products, the confusion around the law has only increased.
Minnesota Clears the Air on the Legality of Hemp-Derived THC
Spring 2022 brought an exciting turn to the cannabinoid hemp industry. Instead of moving to restrict THC derived from hemp, Minnesota empowered companies and consumers by supporting naturally occurring hemp-derived THC products.
Minnesota is the first state to allow THC products sold to the public in retail stores. While 50mg per product is less than what is offered in many states with adult use programs, it’s still a substantial amount of THC, more than enough to deliver an intense high.
Providing clarity to the cannabis industry is truly a breath of fresh air. Minnesota’s move to allow hemp-derived THC is an intelligent move by legislators because the current legal framework was encouraging synthetics. Cracking down on Delta-8 only increased demand for Delta-10, HHC, and THC-O, cannabinoids that lack understanding, research, and history.
Cannabinoid hemp manufacturers in Minnesota are now encouraged to produce more hemp, driving edible prices in the medical and (future) recreational marijuana industry down.
Hemp-Derived THC - Moving Forward
Minnesota has expanded its medical marijuana program and legalized hemp-derived THC in edible and drinkable products in the past year. Next year, an adult use program is set to go into place, creating a unique cannabis market.
No state has ever offered cannabis products with over 0.3% THC outside the walls of a dispensary. Hopefully, this model will be introduced nationwide, but we don’t expect every state to take the same approach as Minnesota.
Not only does the new legislation expand access to THC, but it also dramatically improves the medicinal capabilities of CBD products. The Farm Bill has limited full spectrum CBD products to only 0.3%. While the industry is in consensus that a small amount of THC is better than CBD isolate, it is unclear how much medicinal benefit the small amount offers.
While Minnesota has clarified the legal grey area of US cannabis laws, the industry still has a long way to go. If you have any questions regarding hemp-derived THC, please reach out to us! One of our goals is to help consumers educate themselves and confidently navigate the hemp cannabinoid market.
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