DEA Says Delta-8 and -9 THC-O are Controlled Substances, What Does That Mean for Wyoming?
Recently, Forbes reported that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration stated that cannabinoids in both delta-8 and delta-9 THC-O should be considered illegal, controlled substances.
While this isn't a law, yet - just a suggestion - many CBD dispensaries are already pulling their delta-8 and -9 THC-O off the shelves.
That includes Platte Hemp Company, in Wyoming.
"So the DEA is saying that they're considering delta-8 THC-O and delta-9 THC-O as controlled substances," said Marcus Jones, the Operations Manager for Platte Hemp Company. "It's not an official law, it's just an opinion. An attorney by the name of Rob Knight sent a letter to the DEA, asking their opinion on the cannabinoids delta-8 THC-0 and delta-9 THC-O. They stated that, in their opinion, it is illegal and it's a controlled substance due to the synthetic nature of THC-O."
Forbes reported that the DEA sent a response on February 13, which stated that delta-8 and -9 THC-O do not occur naturally in the cannabis plant; they can only be obtained synthetically. Because of this, they do not fall under the definition of hemp which means that the 2018 Farmer's Bill is not in effect.
"So, the DEA put out a statement saying that they're considering it illegal at the moment, but there's no official law for that yet," Jones said. "But they can act on it. So they could come in and raid my shop and take all my stuff, but it would be a long, drawn out legal process that we would eventually win. But it'd be a giant pain for us."
Plus, Jones said, even though this announcement from the DEA came just a few days ago, Platte Hemp has been planning on removing THC-O from its shelves for about a month or so, even before it became "illegal."
"We're already in the process of dropping THC-O," Jones said. "So this just kind of sped up our timeframe. I've already pulled all of the THC-O off my shelves and have had the majority of it sent back to the suppliers. It was a move that we wanted to make soon just for ourselves. We don't want to carry cannabinoids that might have potential in the long run to not be safe for consumption. Late last year we pulled all HHC and now we're in the process of pulling all THC-O, just to keep our business model the way that we want it, regarding the health side of it all."
It was an easy decision to make for the owners but THC-O did account for about 30% of their psychoactive products, due to them carrying various blends that include THC-O and THC-P.
However, Platte Hemp will continue to carry regular delta-8 and delta-9 products.
"Delta-8 and THC-O are totally different cannabinoids," Jones stated. "So delta-8 and delta-10 are still legal. Same with THC-P and all of those other ones. It's just delta-8 THC-O and delta-9 THC-O that are under the DEA's microscope."
Delta-8 is actually legal in Wyoming because it is federally legal, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill which stated that hemp (from which Delta-8 is derived from) is legal to distribute, possess, and consume.
Area 52 writes that "Some states contradict this bill and implement local laws that restrict the sale and consumption of delta 8 THC. However, Wyoming isn’t one of these states and has legalized hemp and hemp-derived cannabinoids."
For now, anyway, Wyoming continues to allow the distribution of Delta-8 which means that CBD shops, such as Platte Hemp Company, can sell it. But they will no longer be selling delta-8 THC-O or delta-9 THC-O.