Delta-8 is temporarily legal in Texas, thanks to a Travis County judge’s decision to issue an injunction against the Texas Department of State Health Services after it announced a Delta-8 ban in the state last month.
Judge Jan Soifer issued the injunction, which halts the process and stops state officials from enforcing the October 15 notice sent to law enforcement stating that Delta-8-THC products are controlled substances.
While Delta-8 is still temporarily legal in Texas, this may just be a small respite before the state department comes back swinging. Until then, let’s take a deeper look into what’s happening.
Hometown Hero CBD lawsuit
The injunction comes after the founder of Hometown Hero CBD, Lukas Gilkey, filed a lawsuit against the health department claiming health officials did not follow the correct procedures to initiate the changes to the controlled substances list.
Legalities of Delta-8 ban
It was a widely held belief that Delta-8 is legal until the state clarified in October that it is, in fact, illegal. However, official documents show the state health department listed the product as a controlled substance in January. Many people considered hemp/cannabis experts didn’t know about this change, and even those against the substance were in the dark. Most of the confusion stems from the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill allowed states to write their own restrictions. This gave them the ability to enforce harsher regulations than the already established federal ones.
Few people knew the DSHS Commissioner rejected the legalisation of Delta-8 by the Drug Enforcement Agency in September 2020. Many believe the Texas state health department should have been explicit in its plans to avoid confusion. The process was too discreet and did not give others the chance to know what was happening.
Hometown Hero CBD win
Hometown Hero CBD initially tried filing for a restraining order in October, which was denied. Court documents show Judge Soifer did not issue the restraining order, as “the plaintiff has not met requirements of a temporary restraining order.”
After this minor setback, Hometown Hero CBD tried again and was successful with the injunction. “You are free to sell delta-8 in Texas, as of right now.”
Gilkey posted a video to YouTube celebrating the win. He was giddy with relief, saying, “We thought we were going to get it, but now that we’re here, it’s completely crazy.”
What is Delta-8-THC?
Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-8-THC) is a cannabinoid found in hemp and cannabis plants. It is a psychoactive substance, which means it can intoxicate you. This is the argument ban supporters use, claiming it is a controlled substance as it can get you “high”.
Delta-8 is similar in structure to Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9-THC). Delta-9 is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana and is what people usually refer to when discussing THC. Both Delta-8 and Delta-9 are forms of THC and can get you high. However, the intoxicating effects of Delta-8 are milder than that of Delta-9.
Currently, Delta-8 is legal to use in most states as it is typically extracted from hemp that is legal to farm in the US, thanks to the Agriculture and Nutrition Improvement Act of 2018. This allows companies to sell and market Delta-8 products legally. However, not enough lab tests are done on these products. As a result, there are concerns over their safety, THC levels and purity. This is what’s led to a number of states restricting or banning Delta-8 and the uproar caused by such a ban.
What happens now?
The battle may be won by the CBD advocates, but the war certainly isn’t over. The state department is sure to retaliate. With no side willing to back down, this fight is far from over. Only time will tell whether the Delta-8 ban comes into effect.
You may also like to read: Delta-8 THC: CDC & FDA Issue Warnings