Delta-8 THC is being produced across the country from hemp CBD. While many see it as a legal loophole and opportunity, regulators continue to crack down in many states. The Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board has recently issued a policy statement outlawing the conversion of CBD to delta-8 or delta-9 by state licensees. The sale of any products created from converted CBD is also prohibited. On September 8, 2021, an enforcement bulletin was issued to provide further guidance to licensees on delta-8 rules.
In the policy statement the WSLCB determined that delta-8 THC is synthetic and as a result a schedule 1 drug. That made processing or sales of delta-8 illegal among licensees. Delta-8 from CBD is produced through a conversion done in a lab using acids. It does not occur in large enough amounts to be extracted directly or produce delta-8 flower. A number of states have decided to ban delta-8 THC. The statement came after several tense months when it became clear these products were already in the market in Washington.
The enforcement bulletin makes several things clear.
- “Processors are not allowed to convert CBD or hemp into delta-8 THC.”
- “Processors are not allowed to buy or sell delta-8 THC products not legally produced.”
- “Retailers should not knowingly purchase products from processors which contain delta-8 THC converted from CBD. Nor should retailers sell such products to consumers.”
The bulletin also states that the agency approach to enforcing this policy will be education first. They want to help licensees achieve compliance. “Our team has several tools to use to help; communication, basic education, administrative holds, warnings, notices to correct.” However, the agency will take appropriate enforcement action against licensees that are intentionally violating rules and laws. According to the bulletin there are no exceptions to the policy.
To ensure you keep your business in compliance, make sure you know your partners well and have best practices in place to ensure products are produced legally. Having standard operating procedures and employee training is a great way to manage these kinds of risks. You can reach out to the state compliance consultant program or Think Happy Consulting for an assessment and help with a plan.