When the ban on Delta-8, a popular cannabis extract and naturally occurring supplement, came up, millions of users across the state rose up in uproar. Certain dispensaries including our very own Hometown Hero contested the ban legally. And today, the ban has been rescinded making Delta-8 THC legal and available for purchase and consumption again.
Hometown Hero, a dispensary in Austin, made a request with the courts to block the state from labelling Delta-8 THC a Schedule 1 drug. This scheduling would be responsible for its illegal status. And State district Judge Jan Soifer granted a temporary injection against the state on Monday.
This ensured buying, selling, or using the cannabinoid is not a felony offense. Delta-8 THC remains legal in Texas.
According to files submitted by the company, it was argued that an injunction was needed due to the fact that the notice given by the Texas Department of State Health Services which ultimately classified Delta-8 as a Schedule 1 drug lacked the necessary timeline needed to sufficiently notify retailers. Judge Soifer agreed. She ruled that the action taken by the DSHS did not comply with the state’s rule making requirements.
What Happens Next?
However, the expectation is that the state government will challenge the ruling. Officials claim a notice was given in the Texas Register, a public hearing where no one came to speak and a DSHS official giving legislative testimony in May served as enough notice that the cannabinoid would be illegal before the official online notice was published. When pressed for comments, the department did not respond immediately for a comment.
Texas Delta-8 THC History
Delta 8’s journey into the state came on the heels of the passing of the 2018 Federal Farm bill and the 2019 State Bill, House Bill 1325. These bills legalized the production, use and sale of hemp given it has a THC percentage of 0.3% or less. These made it possible for CBD stores across the state to stock the products and sell them to users.
Delta-8, a compound found naturally in small amounts in hemp is typically a lab-produced cannabis derivative. Consumers have made it popular because they say it produces a similar type of intoxication, or “high” found in marijuana.
DSHS insists that because the state hemp law did not clearly discuss delta-8 at all, it “did not — nor was it intended to — allow for the manufacture and sale” of delta-8 products, according to the agency’s response to Hometown Hero’s lawsuit.
Irrespective of it all, this is not only a win for dispensaries in Texas but a win for all stakeholders within the industry. This is especially true of those that rely on the cannabinoid to provide essential benefits.
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