Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Washington DC?

By | Updated on April 10, 2023

Evidence Based 5

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Since Washington D.C. is the seat of the American government, it’s not surprising to see it match the federal law by allowing all hemp-derived products, including delta-8 THC.

Keep reading for a detailed breakdown of delta 8 legality in the District of Columbia.


Delta-8 THC is legal in Washington D.C. The federal district matches federal laws, which means hemp-derived products are allowed.

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Washington D.C. Delta-8 THC Laws

As far as we understand, the capital doesn’t have any of its own hemp laws because it’s a federal district. That means it follows federal laws for hemp. 

Since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp products nationwide, hemp-derived delta 8 THC is technically legal in Washington D.C.

On top of that, D.C. legalized recreational marijuana in 2014.

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 is a form of THC, the intoxicating cannabis compound. It’s similar to delta-9, the most common type of THC naturally produced by cannabis plants.

Although delta-8 has all of the classic THC effects, it’s much weaker than delta-9 THC (1). Cannabis contains only trace amounts of delta 8, so it’s usually made from hemp-derived CBD through a chemical process.

Why Delta-8 THC is Federally Legal

Hemp products are federally legal thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill defines hemp products as cannabis derivatives with no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC.

But this created a loophole because it didn’t limit the amounts of other types of THC. That means hemp-derived delta-8 THC is technically legal.

As a result, manufacturers can turn hemp-derived CBD into legal delta-8 THC through a chemical isomerization process.

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 Washington D.C.

Delta 8 is likely to stay legal in Washington D.C., especially because the DEA made statements in 2021 saying that hemp-derived delta 8 is not a controlled substance.

We only see that changing if the district allows for recreational cannabis sales

Until that happens, local legislators are unlikely to reclassify delta-8 THC as marijuana since you won’t be able to access it without any available licensed retailers.

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