Update: DELTA-8 THC in North Carolina

— Written By Marne Coit
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2/7/21 – At the most recent NC Industrial Hemp Commission meeting on Friday, January 29, the topic of DELTA-8 THC was discussed. Following this meeting, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) has updated their FAQs page, which includes the following:

Is Delta-8 THC Tested for in Hemp in North Carolina?

The North Carolina Industrial Hemp Pilot Program does not regulate or screen for Delta-8 THC when sampling hemp for compliance. Instead, the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Pilot Program samples and tests for the total Delta-9 THC levels, including any potential conversion of THCA into THC. This approach is in-line with USDA’s January 19, 2021 Final Rule, titled “Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program.” USDA explained that there is no need to screen for Delta-8 THC because the concentration of Delta-8 THC in hemp is basically undetectable and contributes nothing significant to the total THC content.

Are Delta-8 THC Products Legal in North Carolina?

The threshold factor is whether the Delta-8 THC is derived from hemp or marijuana. If the Delta-8 THC is derived from marijuana, then the product is illegal as a controlled substance under both North Carolina and federal law.

Whether Delta-8 THC derived from hemp is legal or not depends on who you ask. Currently, DEA takes the position that synthetically derived THC is illegal as a controlled substance. Since Delta-8 THC appears at negligible and nondetectable concentrations in hemp, Delta-8 THC is normally derived from chemical conversion from CBD into Delta-8 THC. Therefore, it appears from DEA’s August 21, 2020, Interim Final Rule, titled “Implementation of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018,” that it will treat Delta-8 THC derived from chemical conversion or other synthetic methods as illegal. (Source: FAQs)

Again, the information above is from the NCDA&CS. If you have questions about this, you can contact them at IndustrialHempRequests@NCagr.gov.

You can also send questions to Extension at industrialhemp@ncsu.edu. Please note that we are not able to respond to comments that are submitted as responses to this post. So if you would like a response, please contact once of the emails listed above.

Additional information: DEA’s Interim Final Rule