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Arkansas passed a bill in April 2023 that adds delta-8 and other novel, hemp-derived forms of THC to the state’s list of controlled substances and prohibits hemp products containing them. Here’s a closer look at delta 8 legality in the Natural State.
Delta-8 THC is illegal in Arkansas, alongside other forms of THC made from CBD, like delta-10 and delta-6 THC. The state passed a new law in April 2023.
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Arkansas Delta 8 THC Laws
Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed Senate Bill 358 into law on April 11, 2023. The bill bans delta-8 THC products by:
- Adding delta-8, delta-9-acetate, delta-10, delta-6, and other “novel” forms of THC to the state’s list of controlled (illegal) substances.
- Prohibiting the growth, processing, sale, transfer, or possession of industrial hemp that contains certain delta tetrahydrocannabinol substances.
- Prohibiting hemp-derived products made through a synthetic chemical process that converts hemp substances (implying CBD) into delta-8, delta-9, and other forms of THC. This process is how delta-8 and other hemp-derived intoxicating products are made.
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 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 regulate or ban delta-8.
The Future of Delta 8 THC in Arkansas
The only possible change I can see is that Arkansas decides to legalize adult-use marijuana. When that happens, delta-8 THC is likely to become regulated in the same way and sold at licensed cannabis stores.
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.
6 thoughts on “Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Arkansas? (May 2023 Update)”
Delta-8 is currently sold in many CDB stores in Arkansas. It appears to actually be legal.
Thanks for the info. Many brick-and-mortar and even online vendors get away with selling delta 8 due to lack of enforcement. It looks like delta 8 is illegal in Arkansas but the laws are not 100% clear. Hopefully, the state government releases a statement to clarify.
HOUSE BILL 1640
AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW REGARDING INDUSTRIAL HEMP PRODUCTION; TO REPEAL THE ARKANSAS INDUSTRIAL HEMP ACT; TO ESTABLISH THE ARKANSAS INDUSTRIAL HEMP PRODUCTION ACT; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
SECTION 1. Arkansas Code Title 2, Chapter 15, Subchapter 4, is 24 repealed.
2-15-506. Federal laws regarding industrial hemp.
If any part of this subchapter conflicts with a provision of federal law relating to industrial hemp, the federal provision shall control to the extent of the conflict.
Delta 8 has been legal in Arkansas since 9/22/2021 roughly 2 and a half months before this article was published.
Delta 8 has been legal since 9/22/2021 when Arkansas house bill 1640 went into effect. HB 1640 2-15-506. “Federal laws regarding industrial hemp.
If any part of this subchapter conflicts with a provision of federal law relating to industrial hemp, the federal provision shall control to the extent of the conflict.”
They repealed the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Act, and established the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Production Act which allows for hemp derived tetrahydrocannabinols like delta 8, delta 10, etc.
Is Delta 8 legal in Arkansas as a minor
That’s a good question, you’d have to ask one of the stores selling it in the state.