The loophole in hemp that is still getting people high

·2 min read

A compound made from hemp, but can still get people high, has prompted confusion and debate over how it should be regulated, sold or banned in Washington.

The substance, called “Delta-8 THC,” has been popping up in products like gummies and candy.

Tuesday morning, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis discussed how it should deal with Delta-8.

Cannabis is not legal at the federal level if it has high concentrations of the substance that makes people high: Delta-9 THC, or simply THC.

However, hemp is legal at the federal level as long as it doesn’t have high concentrations of the compounds of THC, though it does have certain levels.

That created a loophole and some innovation as people were able to derive a strain of THC dubbed Delta-8 from hemp that made its way into products being sold across the U.S.

Last week the 9th Circuit Court said it was all perfectly legal due to the legal status of hemp.

Washington has always had strict control and regulations over the Cannabis industry, tracking and managing growers and stores.

However, Delta-8 that comes from hemp could be packaged into products and sold, which is outside those regulations.

KIRO 7 has found products on sale in smoke shops around our area and in some convenience stores.

WALCB said in April 2021 that Delta-8, and similar intoxicating chemicals made from hemp, may not be produced or processed in LCB licensed facilities and may not be sold in licensed marijuana retail stores, but that clearly may need to change with the federal appeals court ruling.

The State Liquor and Cannabis Board told KIRO 7 in May that it would continue research into the science behind THC strains derived or created from hemp, and they plan to further discuss the topic in June.