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New York is one of the few states that explicitly banned delta 8 THC and limited the THC content of hemp-derived products. Here’s what you need to know about delta-8 laws in the Empire State.
Delta-8 THC is illegal in New York. The state doesn’t allow hemp manufacturers to use delta-8, delta-10, and other cannabinoids made through isomerization.
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New York Delta-8 THC Laws
The New York State Department of Health released regulations for hemp cannabinoid products in May 2021. Among them, the critical change was banning hemp-derived cannabinoids made through isomerization:
All cannabinoid hemp processors shall…(11) not use synthetic cannabinoids, or Δ8-tetrahydrocannabinol or Δ10-tetrahydrocannabinol created through isomerization, in the extraction or manufacturing of any cannabinoid hemp products;Part 1005 of Title 10 (Health) of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York
This means that hemp-derived delta-8 and delta-10 are effectively illegal in New York.
To explain quickly, an isomer is a compound with the same molecular formula as another compound but a different atom arrangement. For example, CBD, the most abundant cannabinoid in hemp, is actually an isomer of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
That’s why a chemical isomerization process can turn CBD into different forms of THC, like delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10. This is precisely the process used to make delta-8 THC products.
These regulations were not 100% official until the New York Cannabis Control Board (CCB) confirmed in November 2021 that delta-8 THC products are banned in the state.
On top of that, New York’s CCB released emergency regulations in July 2023 that severely limit the THC content of hemp-derived cannabinoid products. These regulations were officially adopted on November 17, 2023.
What is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 is a form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabis compound that gets you high. Most of the THC in cannabis is present in the delta-9 form, with only trace amounts of delta 8.
That’s why delta 8 is usually made through a chemical process from hemp-derived CBD. Delta-8 has the same intoxicating effects as delta-9 but is noticeably weaker (1).
Why Delta-8 THC is Federally Legal
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp products nationwide, defining hemp as cannabis with no greater than 0.3% of delta-9 THC. By this definition, hemp-derived delta-8 THC is perfectly legal.
As it happens, delta-8 THC is made through a straightforward chemical isomerization process from pure cannabidiol (CBD). Since that CBD comes from hemp, the finished delta-8 THC counts as a legal hemp product.
Other States Where Delta-8 THC is Illegal
Every state can regulate delta-8 THC 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 New York
Delta-8 THC is illegal in New York, but that could change. For one thing, the state’s hemp companies are likely to challenge the regulations in court, as has been successfully done in other states like Texas.
We also know that adult-use cannabis is legal in New York. That could mean delta-8 THC and other hemp-derived forms of THC might eventually be regulated in the same way as adult-use cannabis. But we’ll have to wait and see.
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.