Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Maryland?

By | last updated July 5, 2022

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Delta-8 THC is legal in Maryland for people over 21. That’s because hemp and hemp-derived products like delta 8 are allowed in the state.

Keep reading for a closer look at the laws and where they might go in the future.

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Maryland Delta-8 THC Laws

Maryland legalized hemp and hemp products by passing HB 1123 in 2019. The bill aligns with federal policy and excludes hemp from the definition of marijuana:

[“Industrial hemp”] “HEMP” means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of [such] THAT plant, INCLUDING ALL DERIVATIVES, EXTRACTS, CANNABINOIDS, ISOMERS, ACIDS, SALTS, AND SALTS OF ISOMERS, whether growing or not, with a delta–9–tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed 0.3% on a dry weight basis.

“hemp product” means a product derived from hemp produced in accordance with subtitle 3 of this title.

“Marijuana” does not include:

[the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta–9–tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed 0.3% on a dry weight basis] HEMP AS DEFINED IN § 14–101 OF THE AGRICULTURE ARTICLE

Maryland HB 1123

Hemp-derived delta 8 fits under these definitions of hemp, making it legal in the state. On July 1, 2022, the state passed legislation restricting delta-8 and delta-10 THC products to individuals over the age of 21.

What is Delta-8 THC?

Short for delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, delta 8 is a form of THC, the cannabis compound that gets you high. It’s different from delta 9 THC, which is what most people are referring to when they say THC.

Delta 8 is about 33% weaker than delta 9 (1). It’s also produced in much smaller quantities by cannabis plants but can be synthesized chemically from CBD.

Why Delta-8 THC is Federally Legal

The 2018 Farm Bill federally legalized hemp products. But it also created a loophole that allows for hemp-derived delta 8 THC. 

That’s because the bill defines hemp products as cannabis with no more than 0.3% delta 9 THC, with no limit on delta 8 levels.

Delta 8 sold on the market is made through a chemical process from CBD, the most abundant cannabinoid in hemp. 

States Where Delta-8 THC is Illegal

Each state can make its own laws and regulations for delta 8.

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 in Maryland

For now, delta 8 is legal in Maryland. But the bill that restricts delta-8 products to adults over 21 also requires a group of stakeholders to study and make recommendations on how tetrahydrocannabinols like delta-8 and delta-10 should be regulated.

That means the state could decide to ban delta-8 or treat it in the same way as cannabis if it’s legalized in the future. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

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