Debate over Delta-8 THC in New York

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NEW YORK (WETM) – Lawmakers in New York state are attempting to ban Delta 8 THC, hemp cannabis used in CBD products.

In recent years, products containing Delta 8 THC have become very popular, but health officials say the product is a health risk and has little regulation. 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… I know a lot of people have used it when they have gone through chemo treatments,” said Matthew Cole, store manager of Your CBD Store in Horseheads.

The New York State Health Department proposed regulations that would prohibit the sale of Delta-8.

“A lot of the companies that are producing it are producing synthetic Delta-8 THC so it’s not naturally occurring,” said Cole.

This seems to be the root of the health department’s regulations. Delta-8 can be created through a chemical process called isomerization, making it an illegal synthetic.

“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,” said Cole.

There are concerns the government could group the naturally extracted Delta-8 distributors with the synthetic ones when trying to ban the product.

“I think if there’s a way to prove the difference between synthetics and naturals occurring that 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. Right now, Delta-9 THC is restricted at 0.3%.

“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,” said Cole.

Under federal law, CBD products can only contain up to point 0.3% Delta-9 THC, and 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. Delta-8 THC has coined the nickname “weed light.”

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

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