Debate over Delta-8 THC in New York

NY Capitol News

NEW YORK (WETM) — Some lawmakers in New York are trying to ban Delta 8 THC, a hemp cannabis used in CBD products.

In recent years, products containing Delta 8 THC have reportedly become very popular, but health officials say the little-regulated product poses a health risk. On the other hand, local distributors say there are many benefits to this specific product.

“Sometimes, having a product that is a little bit stronger than a traditional CBD product can benefit them,” said Matthew Cole, manager of Your CBD Store in Horseheads. “I know a lot of people have used it when they have gone through chemo treatments.”

Even so, the New York State Health Department proposed regulations that would prohibit the sale of Delta-8. It can be created through a chemical process called isomerization, making it an illegal synthetic.

This seems to be the root of the health department’s regulations. “A lot of the companies that are producing it are producing synthetic Delta-8 THC, so it’s not naturally occurring,” said Cole. “Our [product] is actually a naturally occurring Delta-8 so it’s naturally within the industrial hemp plant. It’s not a lab-made chemical or anything like that.”

Some are concerned that the government could group the naturally extracted Delta-8 distributors with the synthetic ones when trying to ban the product. “If there’s a way to prove the difference between synthetics and naturals occurring, then we could potentially overcome that battle,” said Cole.

Currently, Delta-8 THC is not a regulated product. Some CBD distributors have been selling CBD products with levels as high as 1.2%, according to Cole. He says: “There’s no way to ensure that each company is being compliant, unfortunately. A few bad apples ruin the bunch. Because it’s not a regulated trade, it’s easy to skip some of those necessary steps.”

Right now, under federal law, CBD products can only contain up to point 0.3% Delta-9 THC. Anything above that threshold is considered marijuana. Delta-8 THC has an extremely similar molecular structure and can provide a mild high, but it is not considered marijuana. It has acquired the nickname “weed light.”

So far, the New York Health Department has not acted on its proposed regulations.

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