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Building of the Supreme Court of Texas. Courtesy Wikipedia

The last few months have been an uphill battle for Delta 8 THC (a legal form of THC) and the Texas-based companies who sell it. Earlier this year, the Texas Department of State Health Services filed a request to eliminate the sale of Delta 8 THC in the state of Texas, temporarily bringing small-business sales to a halt. Notwithstanding the impact the pandemic had on Texas-owned businesses, the temporary sales ban almost brought local hemp retailers and manufacturers [along with those they employ] to their knees.

What is Delta 8 THC?

Delta 8 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a close cousin of Delta 9 THC (which most people consider “weed” or marijuana). The difference between Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC is very important: Delta 8 THC is derived from the hemp plant, making it Federally legal by way of the 2018 Farm Bill.

More specifically, the provision in the Farm Bill legalizing hemp derived Delta 8 states that “any part of that plant, including the seeds of the plant and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.”

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Delta 8 THC is in fact psychoactive, and most consumers (aging from 21+) tend to prefer it over Delta 9 THC for both recreational and medicinal purposes. For more than two years, small Texas businesses and their customers have relied on the Farm Bill’s provisioning and its designation to the legality of Delta 8 THC.

In late October, DSHS abruptly specified that Delta-8 is a Schedule I controlled substance, therefore illegal in Texas. The DSHS statement says, “Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 443 (HSC 443), stabled by House Bill 1325 (86th Legislature), allows Consumable Hemp Products in Texas that do not exceed 0.3% Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). All other forms of THC, including Delta-8 in any concentration and Delta-9 exceeding 0.3%, are considered Schedule I Controlled substances.”

Without consideration to the economic impact, this “overnight ruling” was quickly scrutinized and deemed reckless by Texas-based hemp companies as they were left scrambling, finding ways to keep their doors open and employees paid. With 100s if not 1000s of businesses being based out of Texas, this seemingly permanent ruling would completely cripple the Texas hemp industry and potentially have a nationwide catastrophic ripple effect.

In true Texas fashion, several Texas-based business owners banded together to fight the Texas DSHS and their injunction to completely prohibit the sale of Delta 8 THC. According to NBC DFW Channel 5, “A Texas district judge ruled on Monday in favor of removing Delta-8 THC from the state’s list of controlled substances until the court determines whether the state followed the law when it ruled the hemp-derived products illegal.” 

Considered to be a victory for Texas-owned hemp businesses, the overturning of this injunction is temporary. – In-light of the court ruling, DSHS filed a motion with the Texas Supreme court to reinstate a ban against Delta 8 products. As such, Hometown Hero then filed a lawsuit against DSHS stating the health agency did not adequately notify retailers of the changes and was unjust.

What does the future look like for Delta 8 THC?

For now, DSHS is continuing its efforts in the pursuit against Delta 8 THC and will once again plead its case in January. Fortunately for Texas-based hemp providers, Delta 8 THC is seemingly resilient and has continued to fight back and win.

Bret Worley is the President of MC Nutraceuticals, a Texas-based wholesale provider to cannabinoid consumer brands. During an interview, Mr. Worley stated “Given the fact that we’re Texas based and our core business is wholesale, we are extremely concerned about this matter with DSHS for both ourselves and our clients. At this point, we are quite confident that the fight will persist for the next six months without a final decision. I personally believe that given all the hard work the companies fighting the DSHS are putting in for this fight, we have a good chance. The most I can ask for the consumer is please support your Texas-based brands for the Delta 8 THC and other hemp products.” 

If you’d like to support Texas-based hemp companies, consider supporting those who are contributing resources to push back on DSHS. Below are a few examples: 

  1. Vivimu
  2. Nature’s Purpose CBD
  3. CBD Farmhouse
  4. Hometown Hero

 

15 COMMENTS

  1. D8 is a godsend for those of us, of a certain age, who prefer not to use opiods for pain.
    Total gamechanger in my pain management. And to sleep all night long without waking up in pain is priceless.

  2. It seems the existing laws clearly state the THC in hemp, apart from concentrations of Delta9 above 0.3%, are NOT controlled sunstances. It would seem that the only way to change this would be with appropriate legislation. The DEA has even come out to clarify hemp-derived THC is NOT a controlled substance. Let’s make sure we keep it this way.

  3. Continue the good fight. After the he sudden death of my husband. I was not able to sleep much less semi function during the he day. D8 has helped me without taking horrible prescription meds that made me worse.
    We all know people will abuse anything. So DHSH needs to speak to us and find out how this product has helped us. Keep up the good fight.

  4. It’s too harsh I feel like weed is more healthier. Weed doesn’t make you cough so violently after taking a small hit. Mark my word as research evolves Delta 8 will prove to be unhealthy

    • That a particular strain of D8 OR D9 can be harsh is common knowledge. Additionally, the delivery method should be considered s well.
      I can’t smoke or vape D8 or D9. So I use edibles and concentrates. Take a look it might help you.
      As far as D8 proving to be unhealthy, well anything is possible I suppose, but hemp has been proven time and again to be safe. I welcome any credible scientific based studies because we should be sure, but I doubt we’ll see any that prove D8 is unsafe.

  5. I understand the plug, brand mention, of the contributor within the article, yet to do a marketing blitz at the end of the article by publishing a list of four companies, not so bueno.

    There is a great list of Reputable, ethical and honest hemp businesses in Texas, who didn’t make the short (free plug) list.

  6. DSHS are living in the past and truly must be the least fun human beings at any given social event. Stop bumming people out, we all know half of you are probably wife-abusing alcoholics. Go bother the heroin and fent dealers

  7. I thought the federal government, specifically the DEA is the agency that classifies the schedule of a drug. How did they transfer that power to a state agency? Simple question. I wonder if the federal judge asked himself the same thing.

  8. “most consumers (aging from 21+) tend to prefer it over Delta 9 THC for both recreational and medicinal purposes.”

    The person responsible for this sentence has no idea what they’re talking about.

  9. It does feel harsh on the lungs soon there has to be a way to legalize true cannabis weed delta 8 or other levels might be psychoactive but I tell you I would prefer the real thing then consuming something we don’t acknowledge what is being mixed with.

  10. They said those companies are contributing resources to fight this legislation. I`d say that’s a great reason to plug them over others.

  11. I live in a state where recreational weed is legal. I could buy delta-8 at the local smoke shop, but it costs 2x as much, so I don’t – that’s price gouging. That leaves 2 customers – noobs and children.
    So while I can see the benefit in Texas, here I see delta-8 as a nuisance.

  12. Does the DSHS have a lobbying group with donations being made to it or certain elected officials they answer to? I think it’s time to start scutinizing agency’s like this and politicians running for office who oppose legalization and see who contributes to them. Dont think for one minute the Cartels are just going to step aside and allow Marijuana to become legal. Just look at the prohibition era. Who stands to lose? Then and now. Nevermind the racist origins of Marijuana laws especially in Texas. You can look up the arguments in favor of passing the law in 1937. It’s part of the public record in Austin. If you never read any of it prepare yourself. It’s not pretty.

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