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For now, delta-8 THC is legal in Kansas.
But the state’s Attorney General released a letter in December 2021 arguing that delta 8 is an illegal substance. As a result, police in at least one town ordered shop owners to turn over their delta 8 products.
Read on to understand the delta 8 legality situation in Kansas and where it might go in the future.
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Kansas Delta 8 THC Laws
Hemp and hemp-derived products are legal in Kansas, thanks to the 2018 Senate Bill Number 263. According to the bill:
‘‘Industrial hemp’’ means all parts and varieties of the plant cannabis sativa L., cultivated or possessed by a state educational institution or the department, whether growing or not, that contain a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis…”Hemp products’’ means all products made from industrial hemp…Kansas SB 263
Since delta-8 counts as a hemp-derived product, it should be legal in Kansas.
But the state’s Attorney General Derek Schmidt released an opinion arguing that delta-8 THC is illegal on December 2, 2021, in response to a question by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.
In the letter, Schmidt argues that delta-8 THC fits under the definition of a schedule 1 controlled substance and is illegal to sell in Kansas unless the product contains no more than 0.3% of any type of THC.
As a result of this letter, police in the small Kansas town of Hays ordered delta-8 shop owners to turn over their products.
It’s not clear if police in other Kansas cities will do the same. For now, all we can say is that delta 8 remains legal until the state authorities change the law or release an official statement.
According to Ellis County attorney Robert Anderson, “This is a perfect opportunity for the legislature to ask them to make all hemp and marijuana illegal or to make it all legal, just so it’s clear.”
What is Delta 8 THC?
Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8 THC) is a form of THC, the main cannabinoid in cannabis that gets you high (1). Most of us are only familiar with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.
Although both delta-8 and delta-9 are forms of THC, everyone refers to delta-9 when they say “THC” without any modifier.
Delta-8 THC produces similar effects to delta-9, including euphoria, sedation, red eyes, pain relief, increased appetite, and other effects. However, research suggests that it’s only about 66% as potent, which means it’s less likely to cause side effects such as anxiety (2).
This means that delta-8 is a safer option for people who experience unwanted side effects from regular cannabis and other products rich in delta-9 THC.
Why Delta 8 THC is Federally Legal
Marijuana and delta-9 THC are federally illegal and considered Schedule 1 controlled substances. Delta-8, however, is not on this list.
Although cannabis plants naturally contain small amounts of delta-8, most vendors make delta-8 THC from hemp-derived CBD through a special chemical process.
Since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp in the United States, that means hemp-derived delta-8 THC is legal.
On top of that, because delta-8 is made from a natural source (CBD), it’s not included under the definition of synthetic cannabinoids, which were added to the list of Schedule 1 (banned) drugs by the 2012 Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act.
Delta-8 products have exploded in popularity because they offer a “legal high” and the health benefits of THC in states where marijuana and delta-9 THC are illegal.
Where is Delta 8 Illegal?
Every state has the right to regulate delta-8 as it wants.
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.
This list may expand as more states are considering banning the cannabinoid.
Future of Delta 8 THC in Kansas
For now, delta 8 is legal in Kansas. But the recent letter by the Attorney General suggests that this could change.
Delta 8 is showing up on the radar of local law enforcement who may decide to consider it illegal in line with the Attorney General’s opinion. But we don’t expect any big, statewide change unless Kansas lawmakers draft new legislation.
There’s also some good news. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) recently confirmed that hemp-derived delta-8-THC is legal, which suggests that we’re unlikely to see any federal regulations.
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.