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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 ARTICLEMaryland 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.
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.