Is Delta 9 Legal? Understanding Hemp-Derived Delta 9’s Legality in Your State

by Lura Briggs

01.06.2022

Navigating the complexities around delta-9’s legal status can be incredibly confusing. For example, you might live in a state where delta-9 THC is permitted in any form or concentration, a place with severe restrictions, or a state with evolving rules. Either way, you’ve probably noticed a surge of psychoactive hemp delta-9 products online and in stores and wondered if they’re legal to purchase and consume where you live.

 

Since there is no short answer to the question, is delta 9 legal, let’s define the compound first. Then we’ll dive into hemp delta 9 legality in every state nationwide.

What is Delta-9 THC?

Delta-9 THC is the primary psychoactive agent in all Cannabis sativa plants, including hemp and marijuana. From a chemical perspective, delta-9 is delta-9 no matter what plant it comes from, but from a legislative perspective, hemp delta-9 and marijuana delta-9 are very different cannabinoids.

Is Delta-9 THC Legal? 

The answer to, is delta 9 legal, depends entirely on the state you live in and how closely it aligns with federal marijuana and hemp rules.  

 

Federal marijuana rules

Under federal law, delta-9 is illegal when derived from marijuana plants. In fact, the DEA’s Controlled Substances Act lists marijuana as a schedule 1 substance with no medical value and high addictive potential due primarily to its potent delta-9 concentration and psychoactive effects.

 

Federal hemp rules

On the other hand, delta-9 is entirely legal to ship and sell if it comes from federally regulated low-THC hemp plants. According to the government’s 2018 Farm Bill, hemp plants and derivative products that contain less than 0.3% delta-9 THC by dry weight are permitted.

 

Federal law is relatively straightforward–marijuana-derived delta-9 is illegal. Hemp-derived delta-9 is legal. However, state rules don’t always follow national guidance. Despite the government’s marijuana stance, 37 states allow high-THC marijuana for medical purposes, and 19 states allow adults to purchase the substance for any reason.

 

When it comes to hemp delta-9, states are also veering away from the government’s Farm Bill stance, creating their own rules to curb the growing industry of legal psychoactive products.

States Where Hemp Delta-9 is Legal

Wondering, where is delta 9 legal?

 

Nearly every state allows hemp-derived delta-9 THC in some form due to the 2018 Farm Bill designation that legalizes hemp and all its derivative compounds. Idaho is the only state in the country that explicitly bans all hemp products containing THC. 

 

At the same time, several delta 9 legal enacted restrictions that make it more difficult for consumers to find hemp delta-9 products. Additionally, some states that allow hemp delta-9 have laws banning delta-8 and other THC isomers. Theoretically, regulators in these states could apply the language in those laws to hemp-derived delta-9 in the future.

 

Unfortunately, the industry is filled with uncertainties. That’s why consumers need to check delta-9’s legal status before purchasing delta-9 gummies, edibles, and cartridges and stay updated on changing laws.

States Where Hemp delta-9 is Restricted

 

California

California doesn’t explicitly ban hemp delta-9, but the state recently issued a restrictive potency rule that could effectively prohibit these products soon. California’s AB-45 statute indicates that intoxicating products can no longer be considered hemp, even if they only contain hemp-derived compounds.

 

According to the new rules, California’s hemp products must contain less than 0.3% THC, which now includes the sum of any form of THC, including delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10. Since many hemp delta-9 products also contain Delta-8, this rule could limit available product options. The state also indicated it might adopt regulations banning total THC in milligrams based on product type, volume, servings, and ratio of cannabinoids to THC to prevent psychoactive effects.

 

Finally, California’s AB-45 statute immediately banned inhalable hemp products until the state resolves unspecified tax issues.

States That Ban Hemp Cannabinoid Conversions (Most Hemp delta-9 Would Be Illegal)

 

Colorado, North Dakota, and Washington all ban the chemical conversion process, known as isomerization, that most companies use to produce hemp delta-9 products.

 

Wondering why processors don’t make delta-9 products through natural extraction methods instead?

 

Technically they can, and some manufacturers do. But this process isn’t efficient because hemp’s low THC concentration makes it challenging to extract enough of the compound to produce potent products. That’s why most operators create hemp delta-9 products by chemically converting CBD to the substance using well-established manufacturing protocols.

 

Colorado

Last year, Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment and the Marijuana Enforcement Division issued a notice explaining that “chemically modifying or converting any naturally-occurring cannabinoids from industrial hemp is non-compliant with the statutory definition of ‘industrial hemp product.’ This includes any process that converts an industrial hemp cannabinoid, such as CBD isolate, into delta-9, delta-8, delta-10-THC, or other tetrahydrocannabinol isomers or functional analogs.”

 

North Dakota

North Dakota’s amended rules also prohibit chemical cannabinoid conversions. The law states that hemp licensees may not “engage in the isomerization of cannabinoids to create isomers of tetrahydrocannabinol, including delta - 8, delta - 9, and delta - 10 tetrahydrocannabinol; and Sell hemp or hemp products that were created using the isomerization of cannabinoids to create isomers of tetrahydrocannabinol, including delta - 8, delta - 9, and delta - 10 tetrahydrocannabinol.

 

Washington

On April 28, 2021, Washington State’s Liquor and Cannabis Board issued a policy statement explaining that converting CBD or hemp to delta-8 THC or delta-9 THC is not allowed under the state’s Uniform Controlled Substances Act. The Liquor and Cannabis Board further clarified that retailers should not knowingly buy from brands that engage in this practice or sell the products to consumers.

 

It’s important to note that these rules apply to production and sale, not possession. In other words, while you may lose access to hemp delta-9 products in these states, you likely can’t be criminally prosecuted for having them, either.  

States Where Hemp Delta-9 is Banned

Idaho

Why is is delta-9 illegal in Idaho? At the end of 2021, the USDA approved Idaho’s hemp program to allow hemp cultivation and transportation, but it did not allow operators to sell any consumer products that contain THC. Additionally, the state’s Uniform Controlled Substances Act essentially bans any quantity of THC or its isomers in products. As a result, Idahoans reside in the only US state where hemp delta-9 is explicitly forbidden by law.  

States Where Delta-9 is in Dispute but Still Legal

Hemp delta-9 rules in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Arizona are in flux and worth examining.

 

Kentucky

Hemp delta-9 is presently allowed in Kentucky under the 2018 Farm Bill rules. However, state legislatures attempted to ban delta-8, intoxicating hemp products, and those created through chemical conversions this year. These rules were blocked, but some experts believe they will be re-filed next year. If passed, Senate Bill 170 would effectively destroy Kentucky’s hemp delta-9 market.

 

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s senate legalized industrial hemp in 2019 with rules aligning with the 2018 Farm Bill. As a result, hemp-derived delta-9 is legal to buy and sell in the state. However, that may change very soon. In April 2022, two Pennsylvania senators said, “In the near future, we will introduce language that would ban products sold that contain Delta-8 THC made from hemp.” The message also made it clear that Pennsylvania senators take issue with the chemical conversion process used to produce delta-9, which may lead to further limitations.

 

Vermont

Vermont operates under Farm Bill limits, making hemp delta-9 products legal in the state. At the same time, Vermont has a rule banning the “use of synthetic cannabinoids in the production of any hemp product or hemp-infused product.” Currently, the state only applies those rules to delta-8 THC, but theoretically, they may argue that the law applies to manufactured hemp delta-9 products as well.

 

Arizona

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Arizona today. However, Arizona’s Bill 1715, passed in the state senate in March, seeks to make the production and sales of “hemp-derived manufactured impairing cannabinoids” a felony. So now we wait to see if Arizona’s House committee will pass the bill.

Delta-9 Legal Standing by State:

Aside from states with specific delta-9 and product restrictions, consumers can purchase legal delta 9 cartridges, legal delta 9 gummies, legal delta 9 edibles and legal delta-9 flower online and in stores nationwide. 




Is delta 9 legal in Alabama?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Alabama based on the Farm Bill’s definition. As of today, adult Alabama residents can buy delta-9 products like legal delta-9 carts and gummies that are compliant with the delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol legal limit.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Alaska

Alaska does not explicitly ban hemp-derived delta-9 products. In fact, the state allows processed industrial hemp products to contain up to 50 milligrams of delta-9 THC per individual product. That said, Alaska strictly bans all tetrahydrocannabinols and isomers aside from hemp-derived delta-9.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Arizona?

Despite legal challenges, hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Arizona. As a result, Arizonians can buy legal delta-9 cartridges and extracts in the state.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Arkansas?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal. Adults can buy legal delta-9 gummies and extracts that comply with the delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol legal limit.

 

Is delta 9 legal in California?

Hemp delta-9 THC is legal in California. However, the state recently placed severe restrictions on the types and forms of delta-9 people can access. For example, vaping is banned, and the state plans to create rules to eliminate all psychoactive hemp products from the market soon.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Colorado?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is technically legal except when manufacturers produce the product through a chemical conversion process. Unfortunately, Colorado’s conversion ban may effectively eliminate the hemp delta-9 market in the state.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Connecticut?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC products in Connecticut are legal as long as they meet Farm Bill requirements. However, isomers like delta-7, delta-8, and delta-10 are not.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Delaware?

Delta-9 THC is legal in Delaware in hemp products that fall under the delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol legal limit. However, the state banned all other tetrahydrocannabinols in its Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Florida?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Florida. Residents can buy legal delta-9 edibles and vapes online without a prescription or medical card.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Georgia?

In Georgia, operators can legally produce, process, and sell hemp-derived delta-9 THC. However, consumers might be limited to vapes and smokable flower because the Georgia Department of Agriculture prohibits any hemp-derived compounds in food, drink, and dietary supplements.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Hawaii?

Hemp delta-9 is legal in Hawaii, but several products are not. Hawaii recently banned smokable hemp and cannabinoid gummies and beverages. That means consumers can only purchase hemp-derived delta-9 in tablet, capsule, powder, softgel, gelcap, or liquid form delta-9 syrup).

 

Is delta 9 legal in Idaho?

Idaho is the only state in the country where consumers cannot purchase hemp products that contain THC of any kind.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Illinois?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Illinois. Adults can buy compliant delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, beverages, and flower from online and brick-and-mortar retailers.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Indiana?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Indiana. Residents can buy delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts without a prescription or medical card.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Iowa?

In its Controlled Substances legislation, Iowa explicitly banned cannabis-derived tetrahydrocannabinol but makes exemptions for legal hemp products that contain less than 0.3% by dry weight. As a result, hemp delta-9 products are allowed in the state despite laws that ban Delta-8.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Kansas?

According to the Kansas attorney general (AG), tetrahydrocannabinols and isomers like delta-9 and delta-8 are legal to possess and sell in the state. However, the AG clarifies that the compounds must be made from industrial hemp in a lawful product with less than 0.3% total tetrahydrocannabinols (THC). “Unlawful hemp products include cigarettes, cigars, teas, and substances for use in vaping devices.”

 

Is delta 9 legal in Kentucky?

Despite recent ban attempts, hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Kentucky. As a result, adults can buy delta-9 THC gummies, syrups, vapes, and other products, at least for another year.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Louisiana?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Louisiana. Therefore, eligible residents can buy hemp delta-9 THC products freely.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Maine?

Delta-9 THC is entirely legal in Maine. Adults in the state can buy delta-9 THC gummies and vapes that comply the delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol legal limit.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Maryland?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal. Adults can buy delta-9 THC extracts and edibles, provided they comply with the 2018 Farm Bill limitations.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Massachusetts?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Massachusetts. Adults can buy delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts without penalty.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Michigan?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC products are legal in Michigan. However, a recent bill changed the 0.3% THC limit to include the sum of all tetrahydrocannabinols, including delta-8 and delta-10.  

 

Is delta 9 legal in Minnesota?

Delta-9 THC is permitted in Minnesota. In fact, state lawmakers recently clarified that hemp-infused food and beverages containing THC compounds like delta-8, 9, and 10 are allowed.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Mississippi?

Hemp delta-9 products are legal in Mississippi with some limitations. According to Mississippi House Bill 1547, adults can only legally possess hemp products with a 20:1 CBD to delta-9 ratio and cannot possess products with over 2.5mg of THC per ml.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Missouri?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Missouri. Adults can buy delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts as long as they don’t contain prohibited Delta-8.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Montana?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Montana. Residents can buy compliant delta-9 THC products in the state. However, Montana’s Controlled Substances Act does ban other THC isomers, including Delta-8 and Delta-19.

 

Is delta 9 legal in Nebraska?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Nebraska. Adult consumers can buy compliant delta-9 THC gummies and vapes without a prescription or medical card.

 

Is delta-9 legal in Nevada?

Nevada follows the 0.3% THC limit in alignment with the Farm Bill. However, Nevada changed the definition of THC to include the sum of all isomers like delta-7, delta-8, and delta-10. So, while hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal, products cannot contain tetrahydrocannabinols that exceed the legal concentration limit.

 

Is delta-9 legal in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire legalized hemp in 2019 in line with the Farm Bill’s definition. The state did not include other THC isomers in the 0.3% limit, so delta-9, along with delta-8, delta-10, and THC-O, is legal in the state.

 

Is delta-9 legal in New Jersey?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in New Jersey. Adults can buy compliant delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts in hemp shops and online.

 

Is delta-9 legal in New Mexico?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Mexico. Adult consumers can buy delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts without a prescription or medical card.

 

Is delta-9 legal in New York?

Delta-8 and Delta-10 sales are prohibited in the Empire State, but hemp delta-9 is legal in products that fall below the 0.3% THC limit.

 

Is delta-9 legal in North Carolina?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in North Carolina. Adult residents can buy delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts that comply with state law.

 

Is delta-9 legal in North Dakota?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is technically legal in North Dakota. However, the state’s recent isomerization ban, along with its amended rules that include all tetrahydrocannabinol in the 0.3% Farm Bill limit, makes it extraordinarily difficult for operators to sell these products compliantly.

 

Is delta-9 legal in Ohio?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Ohio. Adults can buy delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts that comply with state law.

 

Is delta-9 legal in Oklahoma?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Oklahoma. Adult residents can buy delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts that comply with state law.

 

Is delta-9 legal in Oregon?

Oregon’s recent HB 3000 law created new rules surrounding industrial hemp products. The state now defines hemp products that exceed 0.5 milligrams of THC (including delta-9 and delta-8) as “adult-use cannabis items.” As a result, most hemp delta-9 products now fall under the state’s highly regulated cannabis program. In short, hemp delta-9 is still legal in Oregon, but psychoactive products may be limited to dispensaries.

 

Is delta-9 legal in Pennsylvania?

Despite recent senator statements, hemp-derived delta-9 THC is presently legal in Pennsylvania. As a result, adult residents can buy delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts that comply with state law.

 

Is delta-9 legal in Rhode Island?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Rhode Island. Adult residents can buy delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts that comply with the law. However, the state classifies other tetrahydrocannabinols, like delta-8, as controlled substances.

 

Is delta-9 legal in South Carolina?

Hemp delta-9 THC is entirely legal within potency limits in South Carolina. Therefore, adult residents can buy delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts that comply with state law.

 

Is delta-9 legal in South Dakota?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in South Dakota if it falls under the 0.3% per weight limit. Adult residents can buy delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts that comply with state law.

 

Is delta-9 legal in Tennessee?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Tennessee. Adult residents can buy delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts that comply with state law.

 

Is delta-9 legal in Texas?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Texas. Adults over 21 years old can buy delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts that comply with state law.

 

Is delta-9 legal in Utah?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Utah. Adult residents can buy delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts that comply with state law.

 

Is delta-9 legal in Vermont?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Vermont. However, Vermont has rules against synthetic cannabinoids that some industry experts think could be used against delta-9 in the future.

 

Is delta-9 legal in Virginia?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Virginia. Adult residents can buy delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts that comply with state law.

 

Is delta-9 legal in Washington?

Washington’s SB 5276 rules legalized hemp using the Farm Bill's definition that requires less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. That means consumers can technically purchase hemp delta-9 products if they comply with the state's rules. However, the recent conversion ban will make most hemp delta-9 products illegal by default. 

 

Is delta-9 legal in West Virginia?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in West Virginia. Adult residents can buy delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts that comply with state law.

 

Is delta-9 legal in Wisconsin?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Wisconsin. Adult residents can buy delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts that comply with state law.

 

Is delta-9 legal in Wyoming?

Hemp-derived delta-9 THC is legal in Wyoming. Adult residents can buy delta-9 THC gummies, vapes, and extracts that comply with state law.

How is Delta-9 Legal Again?

Federally legal psychoactive products seem too good to be true. However, the 2018 Farm Bill’s hemp designation and THC guidance make delta-9 legal nationwide. 

Delta-9 THC Legal Limit

The 2018 federal Farm Bill says hemp’s delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol legal limit is 0.3% on a dry weight or volume basis. However, the law’s verbiage does not include a delta-9 THC legal limit by miligrams per serving. As a result, the Farm Bill’s leaves a loophole for manufacturers to produce relatively potent blends while remaining compliant. For example, manufacturers can add enough legal delta-9 to create psychoactive products while maintaining the 0.3% limit by simply increasing the product’s weight. 

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 permitted at the federal level. If the plant has a high THC content, it's a Schedule I controlled substance.

How Can I Purchase Delta-9 Legally?

Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, products containing less than 0.3% delta-9 per weight are legal in most states. The exceptions are Idaho, with an explicit ban, and states like Oregon that redefined hemp’s legal limit to under .5 milligrams per product. Consumers should always check the latest local laws before purchasing hemp delta-9 products.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Purchase Hemp Delta-9 Products?

The Farm Bill doesn’t establish rules for age on buying hemp products. However, most states require a minimum age of 18. Some states, like Texas, require consumers to be 21 years old. In the future, more states may increase the age to 21 as they discover hemp products' psychoactive properties.

Could You Get Arrested if Caught in Possession of Hemp Delta-9?

No one can answer that question with 100% certainty. After all, police officers don’t always understand state laws and might falsely assume you’re carrying an illegal substance. That said, federal law implies you cannot face legal consequences for possessing hemp delta-9 unless your state bans the substance. So, theoretically, you could only get arrested if you purchased hemp delta-9 in a state that explicitly prohibits sales.

Conclusion

Hemp delta-9 is federally legal and permissible in 49 states. However, inconsistent regulations mean you may not have access to the full array of these products in your state. We hope the federal government legalizes cannabis soon, so we don’t have to ask if is delta-9 legal in hemp products anymore. But until then, we hope this guide serves as a meaningful resource.

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.