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The legal status of delta 8 in Massachusetts is confusing. The state’s Department of Agricultural Resources released a statement in 2022 saying that making and selling delta 8 products is illegal. But you can still easily buy delta 8 products in shops and online.
Read on for a closer look at delta 8 legality in the Bay State.
It’s not clear whether delta-8 THC is legal in Massachusetts. The state government websites says that the sale and manufacture of hemp-derived delta-8 products is prohibited but you can still find delta 8 products in local stores or buy them online and ship to the state.
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Massachusetts Delta-8 THC Laws
Hemp is legal in Massachusetts. The state passed Bill H4001 in 2019, which defines hemp products as:
All products with the federally defined THC level for hemp derived from, or made by, processing hemp plants or plant parts, that are prepared in a form available for commercial sale, including, but not limited to cosmetics, personal care products, food intended for animal or human consumption, cloth, cordage, fiber, fuel, paint, paper, particleboard, plastics, and any product containing one or more hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol.Massachusetts Bill H4001
However, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) released a statement on December 12, 2022 saying that the sale and manufacture of hemp-derived delta-8 products is illegal:
While the 2018 Farm Bill did remove hemp from the Controlled Substance Act, it did not impact the control status of THC or other synthetically derived cannabinoids, thus delta-8 THC remains a controlled substance regardless of the source. M.G.L.c. 128, Section 117 specifically authorizes MDAR to determine the reasonable commercial uses for hemp. As a result, MDAR has prohibited the sale and manufacture of any hemp-derived delta-8 products within or in the Commonwealth.MDAR
Despite this, you can still easily find and buy delta 8 THC products at shops across the state, in addition to buying them online and shipping to Massachusetts. That’s why it’s not 100% clear whether delta 8 is truly illegal or not.
Perhaps the possession and use of delta 8 is still allowed; but that still wouldn’t explain how hemp shops are openly selling delta 8 products in Massachusetts (which is supposed to be prohibited).
What is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol is a form of THC, the intoxicating cannabis compound. It’s similar to delta-9, which is what people usually mean when talking about THC.
Delta 9 is the most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis, whereas delta 8 is only present in trace amounts. Although delta 8 is weaker than delta 9, it can still get you high, causing euphoria and other effects (1).
Why Delta-8 THC is Federally Legal
Delta-8 is nationally legal thanks to a loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill legalized hemp-derived products as long as they contain no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC.
The bill didn’t place a limit on delta 8 THC because its natural levels in hemp are very low. But you can also manufacture delta 8 from hemp-derived CBD. Since it counts as a hemp product, it’s considered legal under the bill.
States Where Delta-8 THC is Illegal
Every state can make its own laws for delta-8 THC.
Delta-8 THC is currently illegal in 18 states: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
The Future of Delta 8 in Massachusetts
I expect delta 8 THC to become regulated in Massachusetts in the future. Since Massachusetts already allows adult-use cannabis, it makes far more sense to regulate delta 8 in the same way. If that does happen, you’ll only be able to buy delta 8 products from licensed cannabis retailers.
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.