Is Delta 8 THC Legal in North Dakota? (July 2021)

By | last updated December 20, 2021

Evidence Based 6

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Delta-8 THC is illegal in North Dakota. The state legislature amended North Dakota’s hemp and cannabis laws in April 2021 to close the loophole that allows for hemp-derived delta-8 THC. Here’s how it works.


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North Dakota Delta-8 Laws

North Dakota’s legislature amended the state’s hemp bill (HB 1045) in April 2021. The amendments:

  • Added delta-8 THC to the definition of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Previously, only delta-9 THC was included.
  • Redefined hemp by its total THC content, rather than delta-9 THC specifically. This means any hemp products with over 0.3% of ANY type of THC is illegal.

As a result, delta-8 THC products are now illegal in the state. This makes it different from South Dakota, where delta-8 THC is legal.

What Is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC or delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol is a form of THC. THC is the compound that gets you high when you use cannabis. Many people know delta-9-THC, which is what we mean when we say “THC.”

Delta-8 has similar effects to delta-9 THC. For example, you may have increased appetite, sedation, euphoria, red eyes, and pain relief.

However, early research suggests that delta-8 THC is only around 66% as potent as delta-9 THC (1). Therefore, delta-8 is less likely to cause side effects.

Why the Federal Government Considers Delta-8 THC Legal

The federal government considers delta-9 THC and marijuana controlled Schedule 1 substances. However, it doesn’t include delta-8 THC in this list, making it legal under federal law.

Cannabis plants naturally produce some amounts of delta-8 THC. The amounts are in traces that aren’t sufficient to make products. That’s why most vendors get delta-8 THC from hemp-derived CBD via a chemical conversion process.

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp across the United States. Therefore, federal law legalizes hemp-derived delta-8 THC.

Additionally, delta-8 THC isn’t considered a synthetic cannabinoid because it’s made from a natural source. Synthetic cannabinoids are banned under the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012.

Other States Where Delta-8 THC Is Illegal

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.

Some other states are also considering regulating or banning delta-8 THC.

The Future of Delta-8 THC in North Dakota

For now, delta-8 is illegal in North Dakota. But that could change. One positive development is that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) confirmed that hemp-derived delta-8-THC is legal.

This sends a positive message to state governments and state lawmakers could take it into consideration when making future changes to their delta-8 THC laws.

It’s also possible that North Dakota could follow the steps of its southern neighbor and pass its own recreational marijuana amendment. But until that happens, delta-8 is likely to stay illegal in the state.

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