Unlike most states that have legalized the use of CBD and medical cannabis within their borders, the question of the legality of one of its components, Delta-8 THC, has created a tempest in a teapot in the Lone Star state of Texas.
The legislative response of Texas state lawmakers to federally legal hemp has been scattered and confusing. Especially by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
At one moment, Delta-8 is legal, then illegal, and finally, it is temporarily blocked by Texas courts from being listed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, which would have otherwise made it illegal under state law.
Below, we answer the most common questions around this compound and whether it’s considered a controlled substance in Texas while being considered federally legal.
Is Delta 8 Legal In Texas?
For now, the fact of the matter is that Delta-8 THC is legal in Texas at this moment in time as long as it’s Hemp-derived.
However, only a few years after Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 1325, which legalized any hemp product with less than 0.3% THC, many Texans remain frustrated with the lack of clarity on what exactly this means.
Recently, Delta-8 THC’s legality in the state of Texas has been hanging in the balance. The Texas Department of State Health Services and some lawmakers attempted to brazenly ban delta-8 within an inch of its life, which caused an uproar within Texas’ cannabis community.
The introduction of Texas House Bill 2593, which was introduced in September 2021, sought to reduce criminal penalties for the possession of THC concentrates but was then controversially amended during the Senate floor debate to limit the quantity of all tetrahydrocannabinol to 0.3% per product.
Anything above this was to be considered a controlled substance.
This amendment would have made all products carrying above 0.3% delta-8 illegal under Texas law, which would have resulted in a tremendous financial blow to delta-8 retailers and suppliers, not to mention medical users within the state.
Fortunately, the bill ultimately failed to pass and died in the legislature after a House conference committee removed the amendment, and the Senate later failed to vote.
Luckily for all intimately concerned with the issue, this meant that the use, possession, production, sale, and distribution of delta-8 would remain legal within the state of Texas.
Delta-8 THC Legal in Texas Timeline
The manufacture, sale, possession, and use of the CBD cannabinoid was made legal by Texas House Bill 1325, which created Chapters 121 and 122 of the Texas Agriculture Code, and became effective on June 10th, 2019.
Since then, other legislative activities within the state have cast a shadow upon one of the related products, Delta-8 THC, which is semi-synthetically created.
- September 2021 – Failed Texas House Bill 2593 was first introduced. It was initially intended to reduce criminal penalties for the possession of THC concentrates but was misdirected during a controversial Senate floor debate to limit the quantity of all tetrahydrocannabinol to 0.3% per product. This would have made all products carrying above 0.3% delta-8 THC a controlled substance that would remain illegal.
- October 2021 – Texas health officials issued their own list of controlled substances, which essentially declared Delta-8 THC to be a synthetic variant of CBD and hence, illegal. This sent a shockwave through the growing CBD retail industry selling Delta-8 THC across the state.
- November 2021 – A Travis County judge in Texas helped deliver a huge win for Delta-8 advocates by ordering a ruling that created a temporary injunction that blocked the state from listing Delta-8 as a Schedule I drug, which made it illegal in the state only a month prior.
- January 2022 – After the defeat of their ruling in November 2021, the DSHS asked the Texas Supreme Court to step in and reinstate a ban on these types of cannabis products, but the high court refused the request to hear the case. Although a final hearing is set for January 2022, Delta-8 THC remains legal for the time being.
As you can see, there is still much more to be said and done when it comes to deciding if Delta 8 is considered a controlled substance in Texas.
Delta 8 THC & The Federal Legality Angle
In December of 2018, the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law in December of that year.
It removed hemp, defined as cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.), and derivatives of cannabis with extremely low concentrations of the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol with no more than 0.3 percent THC, from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
The 2018 Bill explicitly preserved FDA’s authority over hemp products.
Therefore, hemp and marijuana sourced products must meet any applicable FDA requirements and standards, just like any other product that the federal government regulates.
These safeguards help ensure that Americans have access to safe and accurately labeled hemp products and, in the case of drugs, that patients can depend on the effectiveness of these products.
Every five years, the Farm Bill expires and is updated: it goes through an extensive process where it is proposed, debated, and passed by Congress and is then signed into law by the President.
Each bill has a unique title, and the current bill is called the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. It expires in 2023.
Delta-8 THC in Texas & DEA Interim Rule Collide
The DEA originally issued an interim ruling back in August of 2020 that sought to address the issue of Delta-8.
At that time, they believed that the fact this particular cannabinoid was “synthetically derived” and thus should remain illegal under both state law and federal law pursuant to the Controlled Substances Act.
Nonetheless, in November 2021, the DEA expressed the opinion that they actually see no explicit prohibition of this newly popularized cannabinoid within the Farm Bill as a controlled substance.
The agency indicated that they have no interest in restricting hemp products as controlled substances unless they cross the limits of the .03% THC potency threshold that was established in the original 2018 Farm Bill.
Further adjudication of this controversy is scheduled to take place in early 2022.
Delta 8 THC Fine Print Matters
Despite the Travis County court ruling, some supporters of banning Delta-8 in Texas still claim that a few individuals report a sensation similar to cannabis intoxication.
They say that this goes against the original intention of Congress by allowing a cannabinoid substance to provide users with a ‘federally legal high’ that would be protected by the 2018 Farm Bill.
Jonathan Miller, general counsel of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, which is against Delta-8 being protected under the canopy of the 2018 legislation, opined, “People can make arguments on either side as to whether the sale of delta-8 violates the letter of federal law, but it definitely violates the spirit,”
However, irrespective of any attempts to augment the Farm Bill to abruptly disallow a specific cannabinoid, such as Delta-8, to be banned under its title, the initial piece of legislation is quite clear.
The 2018 Farm Bill categorically defines hemp as “…the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”
Nonetheless, according to Rod Kight, an attorney representing the Hemp Industries Association (HIA), the intention of Congress in drafting the 2018 legislation is irrelevant, “since the law is clear, allowing for the sale of delta-8 THC.”
In defining hemp, Congress specifically carved out delta-9 THC, yet it could have prohibited THC more generally, Kight said.
If future court rulings regarding the fact that Delta-8 is considered a synthetically produced substance change its status under the original 2018 legislation, then it could certainly be argued that the cannabinoid is technically a controlled substance.
But, in the meantime, the 2018 Farm Bill doesn’t exclusively ban it, so it currently remains legal in Texas.
Best Delta 8 THC products In Texas 2024
Despite the confusion regarding Delta-8 THC under Texas law, there are still many brands that offer Delta-8 products to residents of the Lone Star state. Here are our Top 4 options:
1. Exhale Wellness Delta 8 THC
Exhale Wellness is a company based in Los Angeles, California that primarily manufactures and sells Delta-8 products.
- Non-GMO methods of cultivation
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Not the cheapest
- Primarily available online only
Their core team is comprised of certified growers and researchers, as well as a passionate staff of cannabis and marijuana enthusiasts, many of which possess several years of experience within the organic food industry. As a result, all of the products they sell are organic, vegan, and contain only natural ingredients.
The company sources all of its industrial hemp from certified hemp farms in Colorado that offer top-grade, organically grown plants. They also exclusively use the best CO2 extraction methods.
These steps help to ensure a line of products that are not only highly potent but naturally safe as well.
Exhale Wellness sells a spectrum of Delta-8 THC products, which include tinctures, gummies, vape cartridges, flowers, pre-rolls, soft gel caps, and a variety of shatters; each of which is fully compliant with federal law and the 2018 Farm Bill.
Currently, Exhale Wellness only does business within the U.S. and ships its products to all but the states that do not allow any Hemp-derived THC products. Orders are promptly processed and shipped within 24-hours.
Customers enjoy a free-shipping option, and each product comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. So if you don’t like it, return it within 30 days of receiving it for a complete refund – simple as that!
2. BudPop Delta 8 THC Hemp-Derived Products
BudPop is a relatively new brand on the market. However, the company founders share the cumulative experience of over 30 years in growing hemp and developing its many uses.
- Free shipping
- 20% off your first order
- Third-party tested
- Higher than average pricing
- Gummies contain artificial coloring
They enjoy a high customer satisfaction rating. All of their premium brand products are organic, vegan, non-GMO, and provide lab test reports to ensure consumer satisfaction regarding their purity and efficacy.
BudPop’s Delta-8 products are currently only available within the U.S., but all of their premium brand products are organic, vegan, non-GMO, and provide lab test reports to ensure consumer satisfaction in regard to their purity and efficacy.
Their product line offers customers a variety of Delta-8 THC infused items, which allows them to select the ones that are best suited to them. These include:
Delta-8 THC gummies
Delta-8 gummies are at the helm of BudPop’s product line, with 25mg. of delta-8 packed into each bite-sized piece.
This premium brand offers some of the most potent delta-8 gummies available. They offer a fruity flavor and are completely sugar-free. They come in two flavors, Strawberry Gelato and Blue Dream, which offer a mouthwatering taste along with a smooth and relaxing experience.
Infused Hemp Flowers
BudPop infuses its organically derived hemp flowers with pure Delta-8 THC distillates, which are available in popular strain-specific packaging that includes Northern Lights, Cookies, Tangie, and Zkittlez.
Microdosing a few hits periodically lets you experience enhanced delta-8 potency that allows you to attain relaxation, yet remain well-focused throughout the day.
Delta-8 Vape Cartridges
The Delta-8 vape carts made by BudPop contain 800mg of high potency delta-8 THC concentrate and come in 1,000mg cartridges.
They offer a complete range of all of the natural terpene and flavonoids usually found within the original strain of Hemp being featured.
They are made with a universal cartridge size, allowing you to use them with 510 vape pens.
3. Hometown Hero Delta 8 THC Range
Hometown is a veteran-owned distributor and manufacturer of Delta-8 THC products that is located in Austin, Texas, which is at the hub of the present controversy regarding the listing and delisting of Delta-8 THC as a controlled substance within the state.
- Prize-winning Delta-8 gummies
- Full panel CoAs available
- Chartiable organisaiton
- Mostly high potency
The company was founded in 2015 and specializes in products containing pure Delta-8.
Hometown Hero makes and sells tinctures, Rainbow concentrates, Moon Rocks, and roll-on topicals but has become most noted for its popular Delta-8 THC gummies.
As a matter of fact, these deliciously flavored gummies are so superior to other similar products on the market that their tasty blueberry gummies just took 2nd Place honors at the prestigious 2021 High Times Hemp Cup.
Most impressively, every time that you purchase Hometown Hero products, the company donates a portion of its profits to charities benefiting veterans.
Last year, Hometown Hero lived up to their name by contributing over $25,000 to Disabled American Veterans and the Texas VFW.
The company adheres to the highest standards of extraction and manufacturing ethics and also features the most detailed and trustworthy COA, which also offers a clue as to why their products taste as clean as they do.
Hometown Hero products are perfect for those looking to wind down during the final few hours of the day with a calming focus that eventually transforms into sustained and sleep-inducing relaxation.
4. Diamond CBD
Diamond CBD is one of the oldest premier manufacturers and sellers of CBD and Delta-8 products, having been among the first companies to venture into the industry back in 2015.
Since then, Diamond CBD has built an impressive reputation, as verified by countless positive online reviews.
- Huge variety of products
- 30-day return policy
- Third-party lab testing
- The company is more focused on CBD
- A smaller variety of delta-8 infused flowers than the competition
They offer a ‘one-stop shopping experience for their customers with a full selection of Delta-8 infused items, each of which is backed up by scrupulous attention to quality and post-manufacture 3rd party lab testing of every product they sell.
As a matter of fact, the Diamond CBD company makes so many cannabinoid-laden products that it may overwhelm new customers that weren’t expecting to have so many items available.
They offer a wide selection of products that contain mixtures of CBD and quality delta-8 THC. In addition, customers have the option of pre-rolled smokables, vape carts, and oils in Diamond CBD’s online store.
And when it comes to Delta-8 edibles, they offer a delightful array of gummies that come in multiple flavors, which include candy, lollipops, and even chocolate truffles.
But no matter which ones you ultimately select, all of them have garnered rave reviews from those who have tried them.