Vermont Joins List of States Banning Delta-8 THC

Teresa Mann 24 Apr 2021

MONTPELIER — Vermont regulators have officially categorized hemp-based Delta-8 THC products as illegal under state law.

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Farms, and Markets (AAFM) informed all registered hemp cultivators that Delta-8 THC products are not regarded as legal hemp products in an email sent out on Friday, April 23.

On their website, Vermont AAFM clarifies the state’s position further by acknowledging that hemp plants naturally produce Delta-8 THC in trace amounts. However, products with intoxicating levels of the cannabinoid are created using isomerization, which synthetically converts CBD to THC. From the Vermont AAFM site:

Is the Manufacture of Delta-8-THC or its Use in Hemp Products Permitted under the Vermont Hemp Program?

The short answer is “No”. 

Delta-8-THC is a psychoactive compound (similar to delta-9-THC) that occurs naturally in only very small amounts in hemp.  The natural concentration of delta-8-THC is so low that it is unlikely to have any effects on the consumer.  However, delta-8-THC can be synthetically made from hemp.  As a primary example, cannabidiol (CBD) can be isolated and manufactured or synthesized into delta-8-THC.  Some producers use this chemical process to convert CBD into delta-8-THC and delta-8-THC products.  Manufacturing delta-8-THC from CBD has become a way to create a psychoactive substance under the guise of being derived from legally produced hemp, which by definition does not have high concentrations of psychoactive cannabinoids.

The Vermont Hemp Rules were adopted in May 2020 and ban the “use of synthetic cannabinoids in the production of any hemp product or hemp-infused product.”  Vermont Hemp Rules § 6.3.  So, while naturally occurring delta-8-THC is not barred from hemp or hemp products, Vermont producers cannot manufacture the delta-8-THC cannabinoid from hemp.

The Vermont Hemp Rules state that, “A processor shall not use synthetic cannabinoids in the production of any hemp product or hemp-infused product” (6.3). With this rule, the manufacturing, labeling, or sale of any Delta-8 product in the state of Vermont would violate state law. As such, anyone who distributes, uses, or possesses one of these products may face criminal penalties in the state.

CBD retailers have seen great financial gains due to the recent proliferation of Delta-8 throughout the states. The flood of states rushing to ban the compound may significantly impact their newfound revenues.

With this statute, Vermont joins 12 other states that have categorized the manufacturing and sale of Delta-8 THC products as illegal under state law; Delta-8 THC has also been banned in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah.

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