Delta 8 THC is an industrial hemp product that has many benefits and uses. You may be wondering if Delta 8 THC is legal in Arkansas, but the answer to this question is no. Delta 8 THC, being psychoactive, does not meet the standards set by Arkansas state law. If you are looking for a complete explanation as to why this cannabinoid is not legal in the state, then read on!
No, Delta 8 THC is not legal in the State of Arkansas.
In Arkansas, Delta 8 is not allowed. Though, medical marijuana in the state was legalized in 2016 for those with a medical card so why would the cousin to Delta-9 THC -- Delta-8 THC -- be illegal in the state? It deals with how the law was written so let's explore about the current legislation in the state.
Current Arkansas Delta-8 Legislation
According to a proposed rule back in 2018, the Arkansas State Plant Board approved an amendment to 2-15-408 from the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Act (published in 2017), which effectively generalized all THC-levels as a focus for regulation.
In their definitions, they state:
"Total THC" means the completion of the chemical reaction that converts THC-acid into delta-9-THC, the intoxicating component of cannabis. The decarboxylated value may also be calculated using a conversion formula that sums delta-9-THC and THC-acid.
In order to sell THC-products, such as Delta-8 THC, the grower must also prove that the seed (or transplanted crop) that "were harvested had a THC analysis of 0.3% or less by dry weight," according to the guidelines.
Further, the guidelines define THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) as:
"Tetrahydrocannabinol" means the natural or synthetic equivalents of the substances contained in the plant, or in the resinous extractives of, Cannabis sativa, or any synthetic substances, compounds, salts, or derivatives of the plant or chemicals and their isomers with similar chemical structure and pharmacological activity.
Since Delta-8 THC is so closely related to Delta-9 THC, it seems that all forms of THC are deemed to be illegal in the State-- unless purchased with a medical card at a dispensary.
Arkansas Industrial Hemp Act
The Arkansas Industrial Hemp Act 2-15-408 permits the cultivation, processing and sale in this state of industrial hemp plants or products grown from such plant material, with some exceptions. The grower must register to be an authorized grower and abide by the rules governing the program. Growers are required to provide information about how they comply with federal law.
The law provides that a person required to obtain a hemp license for cultivating industrial hemp, can do so by submitting an application and payment of $50 to the department in this state.
List of controlled substances
Delta-8 THC is not listed specifically, but being that Delta-8 is in the tetrahydrocannabinol family, it is considered a Schedule VI drug, according to the List of Controlled Substances in Arkansas.
In the list, they state:
(a) In addition to any substance placed in Schedule VI by the Director of the Department of Health under § 5-64-214, any material, compound, mixture, or preparation, whether produced directly or indirectly from a substance of vegetable origin or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis, that contains any quantity of the following substances, or that contains any of their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers when the existence of the salts, isomers, and salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation, is included in Schedule VI:
In states like Arkansas that specifically list Tetrahydrocannabinols as a controlled substance in their own State's laws, it is illegal to buy and sell industrial hemp-derived Delta 8 products.
Tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp are similar to the psychoactive substance found in the cannabis plant. However, unlike cannabis products (which are legal in the state with a medical card but not federally legal), hemp-derived delta-8 THC are federally legal, but illegal in Arkansas due to how the laws were written.
At the federal level, cannabis-derived compounds have been regulated for decades and considered an illegal substance. The 2018 Farm Bill signed by the president essentially made hemp derivatives used in hemp-derived products legal, as long as the delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration remained at or below the 0.3% Delta-9 THC threshold.
Legal Delta-8 can be purchased in most US States, however, until Arkansas changes how their laws are written, the state will be missing out on the commercial Delta-8 market.
Buying and Shipping Delta 8 in Arkansas
Since Delta 8 is illegal in the State of Arkansas, residents can not buy Delta 8 products with a shipping address located in the state as Delta-8 THC is not allowed in the State.
Advocacy Groups in Arkansas Supporting Delta 8 and Hemp Laws
Arkansans show their support of Delta 8 and push towards better Hemp Laws. Check out some of the standout organizations in the State:
News stories covering raids or busts on Delta 8 Products and stores in Arkansas