Understanding Delta-9’s Legal Standing in Your State

by Lura Briggs

Navigating the legalities around Delta-9 can be incredibly confusing. You might live in a state where medical marijuana is legal, or you live in a state with harsh penalties. Either way, you want to be sure that what you consume and have in your possession will not get you in trouble with the law. In 2018 the Federal Farm Bill was passed, making Delta-9's legal standing even more complex.

How is Delta-9-THC Legal?

In 2018 the Farm Bill legalized hemp at the federal level, not marijuana. The distinguishing factor between the two plants was their Delta-9-THC content level. The product must contain less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC by dry weight to be classified as hemp. 

The 2018 Farm Bill states, "The term ‘hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis." This simple regulation makes Delta-9 legal in specific quantities.

Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol Legal Limit

Delta-9-THC must be derived from hemp plants, not marijuana, in order to be Farm Bill compliant. The 2018 federal Farm Bill classifies hemp as containing less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC on a dry weight basis. The loophole lies in the 0.3% THC per weight limit. By infusing Delta-9 into larger size gummies, drinkables, or other edibles, the ratio is maintained, but the total THC quantity is higher.

It's a simple math problem. Imagine you have 6 grams of dry product. You can then have up to 18mg of THC and still fall within the federally legal limit. It would be federally illegal if it were cannabis. However, since it falls under the 0.3% limit for hemp, the Farm Bill permits it.

Is Hemp Delta-9 Legal?

Under federal law, Hemp Delta-9 is completely legal to ship. The loophole lies in regulations around the percentage of THC per dry weight. Provided the product contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 per weight, it can be shipped across the US. Regardless of your state's position on marijuana, hemp-derived Delta-9 is federally legal through the Farm Bill.

Hemp Delta-9 vs. Regular Delta-9: What’s the Difference?

Chemically there is no difference between Hemp Delta-9 and Delta-9 derived from marijuana. The compound is identical. The distinction lies in where the Delta-9 is sourced, whether from cannabis or hemp, and the 0.3% Delta-9-THC legal cutoff. If the plant that the Delta-9 comes from has a low THC content, it is legal at the federal level. If the plant has a high THC content, it's a Schedule I controlled substance.

To summarize, hemp Delta-9 is legal as long as it's below a certain concentration level. Neil Willner, the co-chair of the cannabis group at RCCB Law, explained, "products that contain hemp-derived delta-9 THC from legally sourced hemp are not illegal, meaning the DEA or law enforcement may be hard-pressed to send you to jail."

Delta-9 Legal Standing by State:

Although the Farm Bill made both CBD and Delta-9 legal. Each state can create stricter rules around the sale and possession of Delta-9 products. Check below to read about your state's legal ruling on Delta-9.

Alabama

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Arizona

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Arkansas

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

California

Delta-9-THC is approved and legal. However, there are some restrictions on the types and forms of Delta-9 that are permitted for consumption. The California Department of Public Health doesn't allow hemp-derived Delta-9 in food and beverages until the FDA approves the compound.

Colorado

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Connecticut

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Delaware

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Florida

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Georgia

You can legally produce, process, and sell hemp-derived Delta-9-THC. However, according to the Georgia Hemp Farming Act, selling Delta-9 infused food, drink, or dietary supplements is expressly prohibited.

Hawaii

Hawaii recently banned the smokable hemp-derived Delta-9, gummies, and drinkables. You can only purchase hemp-derived Delta-9 in tablet, capsule, powder, softgel, gelcap, or liquid form.

Illinois

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Indiana

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Kentucky

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Louisiana

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Maine

Delta-9-THC is fully legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Maryland

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Massachusetts

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Michigan

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Minnesota

Delta-9-THC is only permitted in certain forms. The Minnesota Department of Health made hemp-derived Delta-9 illegal when infused in any product meant for consumption.

Mississippi

According to Mississippi House Bill 1547, you can only legally possess hemp products that contain a 20:1 CBD to Delta-9 ratio and cannot possess products with over 2.5mg of THC per ml.

Missouri

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Montana

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Nebraska

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Nevada

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

New Hampshire

Similar to other states, you can buy Delta-9-THC as long as it isn't expressly marketed as a food or beverage.

New Jersey

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

New Mexico

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

New York

Selling Delta-9 vapes and inhalable products are prohibited to anyone under 21. New York also expressly prohibits the sale of Delta-9 in food and beverages.

North Carolina

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

North Dakota

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Ohio

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Oklahoma

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Oregon

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Pennsylvania

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Rhodes Island

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

South Carolina

Delta-9-THC is fully legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

South Dakota

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal if it falls under the 0.3% per weight limit. However, South Dakota House Bill 1191 prohibits the sale of vapes and other inhalable Delta-9 products.

Tennessee

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Texas

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Utah

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Vermont

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Virginia

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Washington

Delta-9 infused food and beverages are banned in the state of Washington, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture. However, Delta-9 tinctures, topicals, and lotions are allowed.

West Virginia

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Wisconsin

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Wyoming

Hemp-derived Delta-9-THC is legal. You can buy delta-9-THC gummies and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

Where is Delta-9 illegal?

Some states expressly prohibit the sale of hemp-derived Delta-9, and it can even be illegal to possess these products.

Alaska

Growing, processing, selling, and possessing hemp-derived Delta-9 is illegal, according to Alaska's Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Unit.

Idaho

Any products containing Delta-9-THC are illegal. Idaho state legislature has only allowed the sale and possession of CBD isolates and broad-spectrum CBD in its state. All CBD products must clearly state that they are THC-free.

Iowa

Hemp-derived Delta-9 is illegal for purchase and possession in Iowa and considered a criminal offense. 

Kansas

Similar to Idaho, Any products containing Delta-9-THC are illegal. Kansas hemp law allows possession of CBD isolate products, and they must clearly state that they are THC-free. You can be criminally charged if found in possession of any amount of THC.

See the full list of states where other THC products, like THC-O, is legal.

How can I purchase Delta-9 legally?

Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, any products containing less than 0.3% Delta-9 per weight are legal. This loophole means that larger size edibles can contain much more hemp-derived THC than you might think. You should always check your state's legal position on hemp-derived Delta-9. But purchasing CBD and Delta-9 online has never been easier.

Lura Briggs

Writer

Lura Briggs is a digital marketer and writer in Orange County, California. She holds a philosophy degree from the University of Utah and has over six years of experience as a writer and social media marketer. Today, Lura works as a freelance marketer with a focus on the cannabis space. Lura is passionate about wellness and philanthropy. She has worked with several brands in the wellness, ecommerce, and tech space.