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Delta 8 seems to be illegal in Washington, although that could change. The state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board prohibits marijuana license holders from making or selling delta-8 THC products. But it may become available in the regulated market in 2023 or later.
Keep reading for a detailed explanation of delta 8 legality in the Evergreen State.
Delta-8 THC is illegal in Washington but it may become become regulated in 2023 or later. If that happens, you’ll be able to buy delta 8 products from licensed cannabis retailers.
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Washington Delta-8 THC Laws
Washington was one of the first states to legalize recreational cannabis, so you might expect it to have friendly laws for delta 8 THC. But that’s not the case.
Washington’s Liquor and Cannabis Board, which regulates the adult-use cannabis market, released a statement in April 2021, which argued that delta 8 products cannot be produced in licensed facilities or sold in licensed cannabis stores.
It followed up with a more concrete statement on September 2021:
…delta-8 THC and synthetic equivalents are Schedule 1 controlled substances. Under current law, marijuana license holders are not allowed to produce or process delta-8 THC. Likewise, marijuana licensees may not buy or sell hemp-derived delta-8 THC. Engaging in this activity is a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act…
Processors are not allowed to convert CBD or hemp into delta-8 THC. Processors are not allowed to buy or sell delta-8 THC products not legally produced.
Retailers should not knowingly purchase products from processors which contain delta-8 THC converted from CBD. Nor should retailers sell such products to consumers.Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board
In other words, people with a marijuana license who either process or sell cannabis products aren’t allowed to make or sell delta-8 THC products, effectively making delta-8 illegal in Washington.
However, recent reports suggest that there could be new regulations for delta-8 products coming in 2023 to ensure that they can only be sold within the state’s regulated market.
For now, it looks like you may still be able to find delta-8 sold in the state even though it’s not strictly legal.
What is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8-THC) is a type of THC, the intoxicating component of cannabis. Most people are only familiar with delta-9, the most common form of THC.
Delta 8 is not as potent as delta 9, although it can still get you high and cause sleepiness, euphoria, and other effects (1). Because cannabis plants naturally produce very little delta 8, it’s usually derived from hemp through a chemical process.
Why Delta-8 THC is Federally Legal
Delta 8 is nationally legal thanks to a loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill legalized hemp products, provided that they contain no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC.
The lawmakers didn’t expect that the hemp industry would figure out a way to make delta-8 THC out of hemp. But you can turn hemp-derived CBD into delta-8 THC through a chemical reaction. As long as this delta 8 meets the 0.3% delta 9 limit, it’s considered federally legal.
Other States Where Delta-8 THC is Illegal
Every state has the power to create its own laws and regulations for delta-8 THC.
Delta-8 THC is currently illegal in 18 states: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
The Future of Delta 8 in Washington
It’s not clear if delta 8 is entirely illegal in Washington. But it looks like delta-8 THC might become regulated in 2023 or later, which means you’ll only be able to find it in the regulated cannabis market.
If that happens, you won’t be able to buy it from unlicensed sources. We’ll have to wait and see what happens in 2023 and beyond.
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.