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Hemp-derived delta-8 THC is not allowed in Montana, even though both hemp and recreational marijuana products are legal. Here’s a closer look at delta 8 legality and its future in the Treasure State.
Delta-8 THC products are illegal in Montana. The state considers any hemp-derived THC (except up to 0.3% delta-9 THC) a controlled substance.
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Montana Delta-8 THC Laws
Hemp products are legal in Montana and the state also legalized recreational cannabis in 2021.
However, only hemp products containing up to 0.3% delta-9 THC are excluded from Montana’s controlled substances list. Anything over that amount or other types of hemp-derived THC (like delta 8) are still considered controlled substances:
tetrahydrocannabinols, including synthetic equivalents of the substances contained in the plant or in the resinous extractives of cannabis, or synthetic substances, derivatives, and their isomers with similar chemical structure and pharmacological activity, such as those listed in subsections (4)(ff)(i) through (4)(ff)(iii). Because nomenclature of these substances is not internationally standardized, compounds of these structures, regardless of numerical designation of atomic positions covered, are included in the category as follows…Montana Schedule 1 Controlled Substances
Under this definition, delta 8 counts as both THC and an isomer of THC, making it illegal.
What is Delta-8 THC?
You’re probably familiar with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the cannabis substance that gets you high. Cannabis plants naturally make large amounts of delta-9, the most c common form of THC.
Delta-8 is another form of THC. It’s not as potent as delta 9 but can still cause euphoria, relaxation, and other effects (1). Delta 8 levels in cannabis are very low but it can also be made chemically from CBD, the non-intoxicating hemp cannabinoid.
Why Delta-8 THC is Federally Legal
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp products on the national level. But it also inadvertently created a loophole allowing for hemp-derived delta 8 THC.
That’s because the bill defines hemp as cannabis with no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC rather than all types of THC.
Since there’s no limit on delta 8, manufacturers can use a chemical process to convert hemp-derived CBD into legal delta 8 THC.
Other States Where Delta-8 THC is Illegal
Each state has the power to regulate delta 8 in its own way.
Delta-8 THC is currently illegal in 17 states: Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
The Future of Delta 8 in Montana
For now, delta-8 THC is illegal in Montana. This is a bit strange because both hemp and recreational cannabis are legal.
But that could change in the near future as the state’s retail adult-use cannabis system starts working in 2022.
Since delta 8 products are intoxicating just like cannabis, state lawmakers might decide to add delta-8 THC to the definition of marijuana so it can be sold and regulated in the same way. But 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.