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Texas says popular cannabis extract, delta-8, is illegal, sending retailers scrambling

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The federal farm bill in 2018 made the substance legal because of its low THC content.

Three years after federal legislation removed the marijuana extract known as delta-8 THC from the nation’s list of controlled substances, Texas health officials have put it on its own list of illegal drugs, sending a shockwave through the growing CBD retail industry across the state and making the substance, essentially, illegal.

Christine Perez, who manages the popular Austin CBD store Lazydaze+Coffeeshop, had no idea about the change until she saw the Texas Department of State Health Services notice on the agency’s website on Oct. 15.

“I was very confused, as well as a bunch of other companies. It’s like, ‘What is going on?’” Perez said. “I really have no idea why [the state] would try to ban it, or the timing of it. We didn’t hear anything about it from the state.”

It was easy to miss.

As The Dallas Morning News reported this week, the state health agency placed a notice in the rule change publication, the Texas Register. The notice said delta-8 remained a controlled drug in Texas. Both the federal government and states can differ on what is a controlled substance by keeping separate lists. Still, word failed to get out to CBD stores that anything containing the substance, like candy or tincture oil, would be illegal to sell in Texas.

It became the top product for many dispensaries in Texas, as users say it produced the “high” effect of marijuana. The variant became popular after the 2018 Farm Bill changed the definition of “lawful marijuana extracts” and included any extract that has lower than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), including delta-8. THC is the active psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, responsible for the user’s high. [Read More @ Texas Tribune]

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