The state of Texas has declared the cannabis derivative delta-8 illegal. However, confusion over the substance’s exact status means law enforcement officers have made no arrests to date against people in possession of delta-8.
The Texas Tribune recently reported an increased confusion over delta-8, a substance that was commonly found in products at smoke shops and CBD stores across the state.
The Tribune noted the Texas health department insists delta-8 remains a controlled substance. It has been on the state’s list of unlawful drugs — also known as Schedule I drugs — for four decades, officials stated.
However, a recent court ruling temporarily stopped the state from keeping delta-8 on its scheduled substances list.
The Tribune noted the impasse is proving confusing to retailers who are unsure whether they face potential arrest. To date, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the state’s law enforcement agency, has yet to make a single arrest.
“It’s a huge gray area,” Rick Trojan III, a board member of the Hemp Industries Association, told the publication. “The whole thing is confusing for everyone involved. It sounds like DSHS doesn’t even understand.”
Three years ago, federal legislation removed the marijuana extract delta-8 THC from the nation’s list of controlled substances. However, in October, Texas health officials put it on their own list of illegal drugs, causing a shock to the growing CBD retail industry across the Lone Star State, making the substance, essentially, illegal.
The waters were further muddied this month when state district court Judge Jan Soifer granted a temporary injunction against Texas to ensure selling or obtaining the substance is not a felony offense. Hometown Hero, an Austin-based CBD dispensary requested the judge block the state from listing delta-8 as a Schedule I drug, which effectively made it illegal.
Delta-8 is a substance found naturally in hemp. Texas legalized hemp growing in 2019, leading to further confusion about whether the substance should be a controlled drug.
Although Delta-8 remains a gray area in Texas, the state’s stance again highlights its uncompromising approach to drug offenses. People who are accused of drug crimes face very harsh prison sentences, often for minor drug crimes such as the possession of small quantities of controlled substances.
The attorneys at Broden & Mickelsen have represented many clients after they were charged with drug offenses. We have achieved impressive results. Please call us at (214) 720-9552 for help if you end up in trouble with the law.