Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Colorado?

By | last updated December 20, 2021

Evidence Based 4

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Delta-8-THC is illegal in Colorado. The state issued a strict ruling in 2021 that classified it as a synthetic cannabinoid. Colorado took a multi-prong approach that made delta-8-THC illegal for both marijuana and hemp producers.

Here’s a closer look at delta 8 laws in the Centennial State.


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Colorado Delta 8 THC Laws

Delta-8 THC is typically made from hemp-derived CBD. That’s why Colorado banned delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10 THC made from CBD on May 14, 2021. 

The Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division released a ruling stating that:

Industrial Hemp Product is not permitted to be further processed or extracted either before or after inclusion in a marijuana product by a Medical or Retail Marijuana Products Manufacturer. This prohibition includes any process that converts an Industrial Hemp Product, such as CBD isolate, into delta-9, delta-8, delta-10-THC, or other tetrahydrocannabinol isomers or functional analogs…

The use of acids, bases, catalysts, or other unapproved reagents to extract, isolate, or convert cannabidiols, tetrahydrocannabinols, or other cannabinoids is not permitted.

Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division

On top of that, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued a similar statement:

…Chemically modifying or converting any naturally occurring cannabinoids from industrial hemp is non-compliant with the statutory definition of ‘industrial hemp product’…these tetrahydrocannabinol isomers [delta-9, delta-8, delta-10-THC] are not allowed in food, dietary supplements or cosmetics…

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

This makes delta-8 THC illegal because manufacturers are not allowed to convert CBD into any form of THC.

What is Delta 8 THC?

Delta-8-THC is a cannabinoid that can get you high.

Although it does occur naturally, it isn’t present in large enough amounts to be worth extracting. That’s why it’s usually produced by a chemical process that converts pure CBD into delta-8-THC.

Delta-8 is similar to delta-9 THC, the most common form of THC in the cannabis plant. But its effects are less powerful (1).

Why Delta 8 THC is Federally Legal

Delta-8-THC is legal nationwide because of a loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill. Although the bill restricts hemp products to no more than 0.3% delta 9 THC, it makes no such limit for other forms of THC.

That means you can make legal delta 8 from hemp-derived CBD through a chemical isomerization process. 

Other States Where Delta 8 is Illegal

Each state can decide to make its own laws regulating delta-8 THC.

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

The Future of Delta 8 THC in Colorado

The future of delta-8-THC in Colorado seems pretty set in stone. There doesn’t seem to be any hope of delta-8-THC becoming legal any time soon. 

This is somewhat surprising, considering Colorado has practically led the way for cannabis legalization. 

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