What is Delta 8 and Is It Legal in Texas?
While Texas has taken some small steps in light of the national shift towards the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana, the drug is largely still illegal except for those with a valid prescription. The continued prohibition on marijuana possession—even in small amounts—has led many to seek out legal alternatives to marijuana. However, as lawmakers catch on to these new substances, they quickly respond by passing new laws and using existing laws to prosecute these look-alike drugs.
What Is Delta 8?
Delta 8, or Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of about 100 cannabinoids produced naturally by the cannabis plant. While Delta 8 is a naturally occurring substance, cannabis plants produce only a minimal amount of Delta 8. Delta 8 provides a similar “high” to smoking or ingesting marijuana. However, when someone consumes marijuana in its traditional form, it is Delta 9 THC that creates the intoxicating effect. However, taking Delta 8 will cause the user to test positive on a drug test.
Because marijuana plants produce so little Delta 8, most Delta 8 products are created using hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD). Currently, at least for now, Delta 8 products are available in smoke shops and CBD stores across Texas for customers over the age of 21. However, the legality of Delta has recently been called into question.
According to a recent news report, a woman in Bryan, Texas, was arrested and charged with felony possession after purchasing Delta 8. This is because, technically, Delta 8 contains THC, which is a controlled substance under state and federal law. However, the federal farm bill in 2018 made the substance legal because of its low THC content. This may Texas’ interpretation of its state law in contradiction with federal law on the topic.
While prosecutors can charge someone for possession of Delta 8, proving someone guilty of possession of a controlled substance may be tricky based on a few factors. First, it is contrary to the entire premise of criminal law that someone can be prosecuted for something they legally purchased. Intuitively, this doesn’t seem fair. Further, Delta 8 products are typically manufactured, not grown, and contain varying amounts of THC. Thus, if Delta 8 contains only a low level of THC, it may fall below the threshold required to make its possession illegal.
Of course, if you are pulled over or otherwise caught in possession of Delta 8, police are not going to test the substance on the spot. Instead, they may arrest you, requiring you to defend the allegations in court.
Were You Arrested for the Possession of Delta 8?
If you legally purchased Delta and now face criminal charges for drug possession, contact Guest & Gray, Criminal Defense Lawyers, today. We represent clients facing all types of Texas drug crimes, including those being prosecuted for marijuana possession and the possession of Delta 8. We take a multifaceted approach to every case we handle, determining all potential defenses from the outset to develop a strong defense strategy. To learn more about how our Forney criminal defense attorneys can help you defend against the government’s allegations, give us a call at 972-564-4644 today. You can also reach us through our online form.