Is Delta 8 Legal In Georgia?
Delta 8 is a type of cannabinoid that is found in small naturally-produced samples in the cannabis plant. For this reason, delta 8 THC products are typically produced from CBD, a non-intoxicating chemical related to delta 8.
The Farm Bill 2018 included the cultivation of hemp plants in its legislation for the first time which considers delta 8 under the umbrella of an "agricultural commodity."
The Georgia Hemp Farming Act coincides with the Farm Bill 2018, stating that all hemp products containing less than the legal limit of 0.3% delta 9 THC are considered federally legal.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture outlined that it is illegal to infuse foods, beverages, or supplements with delta 8, CBD, and other hemp-derived products.
It is safer to purchase delta 8 THC products online than in retail stores in Georgia because you can research the highest-quality products that are not scams.
Although 15 states in the US ban or restrict delta 8 THC, those in Georgia who are interested in buying delta 8 THC products but want to first understand if this substance is legal hemp material are in luck - it is perfectly legal to possess, use, sell, and distribute delta 8 in the state of Georgia. These hemp-derived products are trending in popularity within the cannabis industry, and here is a rundown of what you need to know about the legality of delta 8 THC according to federal and Georgia state law.
What Is Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 tetrahydrocannabinol, or Delta 8 THC, is one of the 100+ forms of cannabinoids, chemical compounds that naturally occur in small traces in the plant Cannabis sativa. This psychoactive compound is gaining a lot of media attention due to its legal status at the federal level due to certain loopholes in federal laws that allow users to achieve a legal "high" similar to that of the related marijuana plant.
Delta 8 may promote certain health and wellness benefits in the body, including increasing relaxation, decreasing anxiety, and potentially relieving pain. On the other hand, the potential side effects of delta 8 could include dry mouth, rapid heart rate, slowed reaction time, and memory loss. Furthermore, due to the way delta 8 products are produced and are not regulated by the FDA, you may face the additional risks of not knowing which chemicals you may be ingesting.
Delta 8 Vs. Delta 9 THC
The main reason delta 8 is receiving public attention is due to the psychoactive properties it shares with a related chemical structure, delta 9 THC. While both delta 8 and delta 9 are considered THC, the substance most people are referring to when they speak about regular marijuana is delta 9. Delta 8 has a relatively milder psychoactive effect than its delta 9 counterparts, and despite the specific chemical designation of these two molecules being extremely similar, delta 8 products may fall within federal and state law guidelines whereas delta 9 is federally illegal.
Is Delta 8 THC Legal Under Federal Law?
The legality of delta 8 is questionable when it comes to federal law due to the process by which it is manufactured and whether it is considered hemp or cannabis. In May 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit wrote in an opinion that delta 8 THC products are generally legal due to the federal law defining hemp as any part of the cannabis plant that contains less than 0.3% delta 9 THC, the following hallucinogenic substances found in hemp plants, by weight. This includes all hemp-derived cannabinoids, isomers, salts, terpenes, and flavonoids. Any hemp product that contains more than 0.3% delta 9 THC is considered high-THC marijuana and is illegal at both the state and federal levels.
The 2018 Farm Bill
Ever since the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act that made all cannabis plants illegal and the 1970 Controlled Substances Act that solidified the banning of cannabis, the federal law did not distinguish between hemp and cannabis plants. However, for the first time in history, the 2018 Farm Bill included the cultivation of hemp plants in its legislation and opened a conversation about the legality of different hemp products. Due to the above definition and the fact that delta 8 THC is hemp-derived, this product is considered an "agricultural commodity" and is therefore legal based on the federal guidelines set.
The Georgia Hemp Farming Act
The legal status of delta 8 in the state of Georgia has not been reconsidered since the enactment of the Georgia Hemp Farming Act back in 2019 following the passing of HB.213 in the House and Senate. This piece of legislature was designed to align with the federal guidelines outlined in the Farm Bill 2018, and as long as the THC variant contained less than the defined percentage of delta 9 THC and was derived from hemp, they would be removed from Georgia's controlled substance list. The legitimacy of industrial hemp research is also defined by the plant Cannabis sativa has a delta 9 THC percentage of less than 0.3% of its weight.
Legal Status of Delta 8 in Georgia According To State Law
A Georgia law suit was filed by an Atlanta law firm back in early 2022 after the district attorney's office in Gwinnett County threatened to prosecute businesses selling products that included cannabis chemical delta 8 THC. According to the information outlined in the lawsuit Thursday, the district attorney misinterpreted the terms "hemp" and "hemp products" under state and federal law and that delta 8 products are in fact legal in Georgia because they fall within the federally-defined THC level. As a result, the law suit in Georgia seeks a court order declaring delta 8 is legal under Georgia law and to prevent the state from prosecuting business owners selling hemp-derived products like delta 8.
Is Delta 8 THC Synthetically Derived?
Taking up less than 1% of the incidence of cannabinoids in a hemp plant, the cannabis chemical delta 8 THC is considered a minor cannabinoid that does not naturally occur in high enough quantities to produce delta 8 products. For this reason, delta 8 products must be produced by utilizing a structural isomerization process that converts CBD, a non-intoxicating chemical, into delta 8 using specialized chemicals under controlled laboratory conditions.
A large controversy around whether delta 8 is considered synthetically derived is due to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) definition of synthetic as "being produced through chemical or biochemical synthesis." Since delta 8 is synthesized utilizing additional chemicals, it could technically be considered a controlled substance under this definition, however, the fact that delta 8 is produced through a CBD conversion process using a naturally occurring substance, many people argue and try to repeal conflicting laws that delta 8 is not a controlled substance.
Marijuana Controlled Substances
Delta 8 and other substances are considered "marijuana" when derived from a plant of the genus Cannabis. This includes seeds thereof, resin extracted, completely defoliated mature stalks, fiber produced from such stalks, and completely sterilized samples of such plant which is incapable of germination. Additionally, synthetically and naturally produced tetrahydrocannabinol samples that do not contain plant material exhibiting the external features of the plant cannabis are considered "marijuana."
Processing Hemp Plants: Are All Delta 8 Products Legal According To Georgian State Law?
Although delta 8 hemp products are legal in Georgia, not all products are permitted in the state. The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) outlined in a press release that it is illegal to have beverages, dietary supplements, and food products infused with delta 8, CBD, and other hemp-derived compounds. This is restriction is because Georgia laws align with regulations set out by the FDA Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Where To Buy Commercial Delta 8 In Georgia
There are many locations that offer the legal commercial sale of delta 8 products in the state of Georgia. Oftentimes, delta 8 retailers require consumers to be above the age of 21 to purchase any delta 8 products. Some of the locations you can purchase delta 8 in Georgia include:
Warnings About Buying Delta 8
Many of the concerns regarding the legality of delta 8 are due to the fact that these substances have not been evaluated and determined safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Despite the variety of in-store CBD vendors that sell delta 8 THC products, in order to ensure delta 8 products are safe to consume and of high quality, it is beneficial to shop for these products online so you can acquire better products that you can more easily research.
Although the legality of delta 8 THC may seem unclear due to the overlapping of the federal and state laws and guidelines differing across states, in Georgia, it is completely legal for people above the age of 21 to purchase and use hemp-derived delta 8 products as long as they contain less than 0.3% delta 9 THC. For more information about substance laws, CBD, and delta 8, continue reading through Burning Daily for more insight into the cannabis industry.