The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) may soon be issuing rules to classify delta-8 THC and other synthetically produced cannabinoids as prohibited controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
At the DEA’s recent 2023 Supply Chain Conference, chief of the Drug and Chemical Evaluation Section Terrance Boos gave a speech and accompanying presentation outlining the agency’s plans and concerns with delta-8 THC. Previously, the DEA has confirmed that naturally occurring delta-8 THC, which occurs in trace amounts, is not regulated as a controlled substance as long as the total delta-9 THC concentration of the product did not exceed 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. However, both state and federal agencies have expressed concern over synthetically produced delta-8 THC, done so through a chemical process converting CBD into delta-8 THC. As noted in Boos’ presentation, a “patchwork of laws at the state and local levels” exist on regulating delta-8; the DEA reported fourteen states that had outright banned delta-8, two states that regulate the sales, and others that have laws that could “potentially affect delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, like the use of inhalable products being banned.”
Boos cited public health and safety concerns as the drive for DEA to issue new regulations on synthetic cannabinoids, particularly delta-8 THC. Without clarification, Boos noted, consumers may be getting higher THC concentrations than intended and be lulled into a “false sense of safety and legality” if products are labeled as “hemp.”
Additionally, Boos stated that the agency is considering new regulations on CBD by “considering a limit of 0.1% THC on a weight-to-weight basis for CBD” as well as descheduling synthetic CBD by a proposed rule that “treats synthetic CBD with <0.1% delta-9 THC same as [Farm Bill] exempted material.”
These proposed rules follow the DEA’s recent statements clarifying delta-9 THCO and delta-8 THCO as controlled substances.
Have further questions about federal or state regulations on hemp-derived cannabinoids and hemp products? Confused about the legality of delta-8 or other cannabinoids? Seeking a 50-state analysis to determine your product's legality?
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