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Even though recreational cannabis is legal in Alaska, delta-8 is not. Also, hemp and products derived from hemp, like delta-8-THC, are illegal unless you’re registered with the Alaska Industrial Hemp Pilot Program. Let’s look a little deeper into Alaska’s delta-8-THC laws.
Delta-8-THC is illegal in Alaska. The state considers all forms of THC a controlled substance.
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Alaska Delta 8 THC Laws
Although delta-8 THC is illegal in Alaska, the laws in Alaska are quite confusing. On the one hand, adult cannabis use is legal, which means cannabis products can be purchased by anyone 21 years of age or older.
Despite this, Alaska considers all tetrahydrocannabinols (forms of THC) Schedule IIIA controlled drugs, which means they’re illegal. Since delta-8 THC is a form of tetrahydrocanabinol, it falls under this definition.
On top of that, we have to remember that delta-8 THC is made from hemp. In Alaska, you can only produce and sell hemp-derived products if you’re registered with the state’s industrial hemp pilot program.
These laws are not 100% clear but they do appear to make delta-8 THC illegal in the state.
What is Delta 8 THC?
Delta-8-THC is the standard acronym for delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol. It is a minor cannabinoid. Minor cannabinoids do not form naturally in large amounts, making direct extraction of them difficult. This is why delta-8-THC is typically synthesized from CBD that was extracted from hemp.
The molecular structure of the delta-8-THC is similar to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which we know as THC.
Having such similar molecular structures is what makes delta-8-THC have similar effects as THC (1). It isn’t as potent but many people are consuming it because delta-8-THC still causes a euphoric feeling.
Why Delta 8 THC is Federally Legal
Delta-8-THC is legal federally because it’s made from CBD that comes from hemp. Because the CBD used to make delta-8-THC comes from federally legal hemp, CBD-derived delta-8 THC is also legal.
As of this time, no federal laws restricting the production or sale of delta-8-THC. Each state has the right to decide whether or not delta-8-THC is considered legal or illegal at a state level.
Where is Delta-8 Illegal?
Delta-8 THC is currently illegal in 17 states: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
State laws change regularly and other states may choose to restrict or ban delta-8 in the future.
The Future of Delta 8 THC in Alaska
For now, delta 8 is illegal in Alaska. But that could change. The Department of Natural Resources has until December 1, 2024, to provide a detailed written report about industrial hemp regulation to the state senate.
At least a few changes to the industrial hemp laws in Alaska should be expected around that time.
On top of that, the DEA confirmed in June and September 2021 that it considers delta-8 THC derived from hemp to be legal. That’s another bit of positive news that may influence state policy.
Gleb is a freelance writer from Vancouver, Canada specializing in CBD and cannabis. He’s read thousands of studies on CBD and other supplements, helping him translate complex science into plain language. Gleb has tried and reviewed dozens of CBD brands and products, written third-party testing reports, and knows the CBD industry inside and out. When not writing, he likes to kickbox, travel, and tell everyone how awesome intermittent fasting is.