Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Arkansas?

By | last updated November 14, 2021

Evidence Based 5

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Delta-8-THC is illegal in Arkansas. At first glance, the laws look a little grey because Arkansas has a state-approved hemp and medical marijuana programs.

You would think if medical marijuana and hemp are both legal that delta-8-THC would be no different, but it’s not that simple.

Here’s why delta-8 THC is illegal in Arkansas.

Arkansas Delta 8 THC Laws

The Arkansas Industrial Hemp Act was approved and effective as of August 31, 2018. It uses the same definition of hemp as the federal Farm Bill.

But Arkansas also has laws for controlled substances. Most notably, schedule VI substances are illegal in the state and include tetrahydrocannabinols (THC).

Arkansas Code § 5-64-215 states that:

…any material, compound, mixture, or preparation, whether produced directly or indirectly from a substance of vegetable origin or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis, that contains any quantity of the following substances, or that contains any of their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers when the existence of the salts, isomers, and salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation, is included in Schedule VI

Arkansas House Bill 1415

Since delta-8 is a type of THC that is made using a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis, it fits under the above definition. That means delta 8 is illegal.

What is Delta 8 THC?

When people talk about THC, they usually mean delta-9 THC. Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8 THC) is another, less common type of THC. It’s produced naturally in cannabis and hemp but in very small amounts.

The molecular structure of delta-8 THC is similar to delta-9 THC, so it can get you high and cause other similar effects (1). But D8 is not as strong as delta 9.

Why Delta 8 THC is Federally Legal

Delta-8-THC is legal federally thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill legalized hemp products in the United States.

Since delta-8-THC can be made from hemp-derived CBD through a chemical reaction, it’s considered a legal hemp product at the federal level.

Where is Delta-8 Illegal?

Every state can make its own decision regarding the legality of delta-8 THC.

Delta-8-THC is currently illegal in 14 states: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Utah.

State laws change regularly and other states may choose to regulate or ban delta-8.

The Future of Delta 8 THC in Arkansas

There is hope for delta-8-THC to be legal in Arkansas in the future. The state passed a medical marijuana program in 2016. This suggests an openness to THC for medical uses.

There are also recent reports indicating marijuana could be legalized for adult use in the coming years. Should this become a reality, it would pave the way for delta-8 to be legal as well.

Another positive bit of news is that the DEA confirmed on two occasions that it considers hemp-derived delta-8 THC legal.


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