Delta-8 THC and New York are two topics that have been making headlines in the cannabis world lately. Delta-8 has been reported upon for being a controversial compound that is legal through a loophole, and New York has been in the news for making recreational cannabis legal. Now, the two are making headlines again, this time together, because New York has banned Delta-8 THC.
Under new New York Health Department regulations released last week, CBD retailers who sell Delta-8 have to cease operations, meaning there won’t be a booming Delta-8 market to match the newly legal cannabis market in the profitable and now-cannabis-friendly state.
“There is no way I can keep it going in New York,” said Yardly Burgess, owner of Empire CBD, who had to close all of his shops in various towns in NewYork State. “Delta-8 is what helped my business grow.”
The loophole in legality comes because Delta-8 THC is made from hemp, not THC-containing cannabis, but it can produce a similar sense of euphoria to the classic THC high. And the compounds are remarkably similar, as the THC compound that gets the user lifted is a close relative, Delta-9 THC.
The news that New York has banned Delta-8 THC isn’t completely surprising. Although New York has recently legalized recreational cannabis, they also established some really strict rules on CBD and hemp derivatives—compounds that are much less strictly regulated than THC-containing cannabis in most states.
In addition to the Delta-8 ban, the new rules declare that cannabinoid and cannabinol products made through isomerization are no longer legal in the state in general, which includes Delta-10 as a newly outlawed compound along with Delta-8.
New York is also not the first state to make the move towards this ban. Delta-8 is illegal in at least 12 other states, including Colorado, another state that is famous for being friendly to legal, recreational cannabis.
Now That New York Has Banned Delta-8 THC, What Happens?
Already, CBD retailers in New York are trying to get around the law. Gary Colmey, who owns Gary’s Indoor Garden Supply and CBD Center in Rome, told local media that while some of his suppliers had to stop shipping to him, he has a supplier based in Austin, Texas who does not make his Delta-8 synthetically and still plans to ship it to New York. It remains to be seen whether this loophole will work out, or if there will be a crackdown.
“If I can get it, and they tell me it’s not synthetic, then I’ll keep it as long as I can,” Colmey said. He also reiterated that some of his products are simply grow supplies, which are soon to be even more in-demand, “and they can’t stop that.”
This is an especially heavy blow to many in New York, as Delta-8 THC has been getting increasingly popular across the country. Most CBD and hemp shops sell it in forms to be either ingested, smoked, or vaped. Now, consumers in the state of New York will be out of luck when it comes to either ordering or going to a local shop to pick it up.
Those who use Delta-8 often buy vape cartridges, tinctures, or gummies, similar to the way CBD and Delta-9 THC are consumed. There is even a “moon rocks” form of Delta-8 which consists of smokeable, concentrated “nuggets” of the compound.
Many New York residents are upset because, even with the availability of CBD and Delta-9 THC, they claim Delta-8 helps the most with sleeping. It’s “the one thing I have found that helps me sleep thru [sic] the night,” commented an anonymous smoker on the pro-cannabis Legal in CNY message board.
Soon, legal cannabis will be coming to New York, and there will be many more options for the industry. However, it looks like Delta-8 won’t be one of them.