Ohio Adds New Rules to Govern the Controversial Delta-8

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program has provided guidance on how licensed cannabis businesses should distribute, produce and sell Delta-8 THC products.

The regulatory body currently overseeing Ohio’s medical marijuana program has now instituted new rules governing the use of Delta-8 THC, the popular, yet controversial, compound that has been known to yield similar effects to regular weed.

The rules, via the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program, are intended to provide “guidance to licensees regarding the production, distribution and sale of medical marijuana products containing Delta-8 THC,” the agency said.

The new rules, which take effect immediately, include a requirement licensee notification of “the use of Delta-8 THC must include a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that describes the process and methods with which Delta-8 THC will be used in compliance” with the state law.

The rules also address THC dosage, saying that “total THC content—combination of Delta-9 THC and any other THC isomer or analog—of the manufactured product shall not exceed 70 percent.”

In addition, “Delta-8 THC’ must be fully incorporated on the package and label for patient awareness,” the agency said, and abbreviations “such as ‘Delta-8’ or ‘D8,’” are not permitted.”

Licensees “must maintain all supply chain records relevant to ingredients used in medical marijuana production, including records of purchases and/or production of Delta-8 THC, CBD, or any other ingredient used in the production of medical marijuana, subject to” Ohio law, according to the agency, adding that “cultivators, processors, and testing laboratories are required to test for Delta-8 THC and any other Department directed THC isomers and analogs and report the results to the Department’s inventory tracking system.”

“The MMCP’s key priority is product safety, and it continues to monitor Delta-8 THC and other THC isomer developments and reserves the right to prohibit product ingredients. The MMCP will continue to provide additional guidance as necessary,” the agency said in its notice.

As local television station News 5 Cleveland noted in a broadcast, the “rule changes do not have any direct impact on Delta-8 THC sales outside Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program.”

The station reported that the new rules “got early pushback because they don’t address products that have already been sent to dispensaries and appear to make some changes that normally require a longer rule-changing process,” and noted that a spokesperson for the Medical Marijuan Control Program said that the agency will provide additional guidance in the future.

This compound has gained considerable popularity in the last year due to its similarity to marijuana—and, crucially, the fact that it is legal to buy.

The latter has prompted several states to impose rules and regulations on the compound, if not ban the compound altogether.

Delta-8 Across the Country

That’s what the state of New York did last month, making cannabinoid and cannabinol products made through isomerization—the process through which Delta-8 is produced––illegal. 

The move frustrated CBD business owners in New York who had capitalized on the popularity of Delta-8.

“There is no way I can keep it going in New York,” said Yardly Burgess, owner of Empire CBD. “Delta-8 is what helped my business grow.”

State regulators in Washington, where recreational marijuana use is legal, have also grappled with how to handle Delta-8 THC products sold in licensed cannabis dispensaries. The Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board has said that it intends to regulate such products sold in those licensed dispensaries. 

As detailed in a helpful High Times primer last summer, Delta-8 THC is “a unique chemical compound located within the cannabis plant that delivers remarkable benefits and the psychotropic effects that enthusiasts have been craving,” defined as “an isomer of CBD and a derivative of hemp and CBD and is completely legal if the final product contains less than 0.3 perrcent Delta-9 THC.”

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