Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Virginia?

By | last updated December 20, 2021

Evidence Based 5

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Delta-8 THC is legal in Virginia. The state legalized hemp products and removed hemp-derived THC from the state’s controlled substances list.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of delta 8 legality in the Old Dominion.


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Virginia Delta-8 THC Laws

Virginia passed HB 1839 in 2019, aligning the state’s hemp laws with federal ones. The bill made hemp products legal:

“Industrial hemp” means any part of the plant Cannabis sativa, including seeds thereof and any derivative, extract, cannabinoid, isomer, acid, salt, or salt of an isomer, whether growing or not, with a concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol that is no greater than that allowed by federal law

“Hemp product” means any finished product that is otherwise lawful and that contains industrial hemp, including rope, building materials, automobile parts, animal bedding, animal feed, cosmetics, oil containing an industrial hemp extract, or food or food additives for human consumption.

Virginia HB 1839

Hemp-derived delta 8 fits under these definitions, making it legal in Virginia.

Virginia also amended its Drug Control Act to exclude hemp-derived THC from the definition of tetrahydrocannabinols, which are considered a controlled substance in the state:

Tetrahydrocannabinols, except as present in (i) industrial hemp, as defined in § 3.2-4112, that is possessed by a person registered pursuant to subsection A of § 3.2-4115 or his agent; (ii) a hemp product, as defined in § 3.2-4112, containing a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no greater than 0.3 percent that is derived from industrial hemp, as defined in § 3.2-4112, that is grown, dealt, or processed in compliance with state or federal law;

Virginia Drug Control Act

These changes are important because they exclude hemp-derived delta-8 THC from the state’s list of schedule 1 controlled substances.

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8-THC) is a form of THC, the cannabis compound that gets you high. Cannabis plants naturally produce large amounts of delta-9, which is a different form of THC.

Delta 8 is weaker than delta 9 but can still get you high (1). Because its levels in cannabis are low, delta 8 is usually made from CBD through a chemical conversion process.

Why Delta-8 THC is Federally Legal

Delta 8 is legal nationwide due to a loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill legalized hemp products, limiting them to no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC.

Since other types of THC don’t have this limitation, hemp-derived delta 8 is technically legal.

Delta 8 is typically made from CBD, the most abundant cannabinoid in hemp plants. Manufacturers put pure delta-8 THC through a chemical conversion process to make delta 8.

States Where Delta-8 THC is Illegal

Each state has the power to make its own laws for delta 8 THC.

Delta-8 THC is currently illegal in 14 states: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah, and Washington.

The Future of Delta 8 in Virginia

Delta 8 is likely to stay legal in Virginia.

It’s possible that the state could add delta 8 to the definition of marijuana, which was legalized in 2021. If that happens, it will only be available at licensed cannabis retailers.

But we’ll have to wait and see.

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