Is Delta-8 THC Legal in South Dakota? (July 2021)

By | last updated August 4, 2021

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Delta-8 THC appears to be legal in South Dakota. The state passed its own bill to legalize hemp and hemp-derived products.

Read on to learn more about delta-8’s legal status in South Dakota.

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South Dakota Delta-8 THC Laws

Delta-8 and other hemp-derived products are legal in South Dakota.

Although the first attempt to legalize hemp in the state failed in 2019 when governor Kristi Noem vetoed the bill, South Dakota finally legalized hemp on March 30, 2020 with House Bill 1008.

This bill brings South Dakota in line with the federal government and allows CBD, delta-8, and other hemp-derived cannabinoid products.

What Is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a form of THC, the cannabis compound that gets you high. Most people are familiar with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is what we refer to when we say “THC.”

Delta-8 THC can cause similar effects as delta-9 THC. For example, both substances can cause red eyes, increased appetite, euphoria, pain relief, and sedation.

However, research shows that delta-8 THC is about 66% potent as delta-9 THC (1). Therefore, you are less likely to experience side effects, such as anxiety, when you take delta-8 THC.

The bottom line is that delta-8 THC is a weaker, legal form of regular delta-9 THC.

Why the Federal Government Consider Delta-8 THC Legal

The federal government outlaws marijuana and delta-9 THC and considers them Schedule 1 controlled substances. Delta-8 THC, on the other hand, is not included on this list, so it’s legal.

Cannabis plants naturally make delta-8 THC. However, the amount isn’t sufficient to make products. That’s why most vendors obtain delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol from hemp-derived CBD through a chemical conversion process.

Since the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp legal across the United States, this means delta-8 products made from it are also legal.

On top of that, delta-8 doesn’t fall under the definition of synthetic cannabinoids because it’s obtained from a natural source. This means it’s excluded from the banned Schedule 1 synthetic cannabinoids.

Where Is Delta-8 THC Illegal?

Delta-8 is currently illegal in these 14 states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Utah. Others may follow suit in the near future.

The DEA and Delta-8

Another key development is that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently added delta-8 to its “orange book” of controlled substances. It was listed under the group “tetrahydrocannabinol”, signaling the DEA’s position that delta-8 is the same thing as regular THC and should be regulated as much.

However, this move isn’t legally binding unless the federal government decides to ban delta-8 THC.

The Future of Delta-8 in South Dakota

It’s tough to say if delta-8 THC will remain legal in South Dakota. However, considering that the state’s citizens voted in favor of cannabis legalization in 2020, we think that delta-8 will stay legal.

In fact, South Dakota is the first state to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana at the same time.

However, the motion to legalize recreational cannabis was challenged by a judge and is currently being decided in the Supreme Court.

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