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Texas hemp industry celebrates signals coming from DEA over delta-8

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Jerry Clayton
/
Texas Public Radio
Various Products Containing Delta-8 THC at a San Antonio shop

Texas hemp shop owners are celebrating recent signals from the Drug Enforcement Administration that delta-8 is not a controlled substance at this time.

The federal agency is telling state regulators that only products containing more than 0.3% delta-9 are considered controlled.

Carla Harrold operates Carla's Hempire on FM 1774 in the East Texas town of Magnolia. She called those signals from the DEA good news for the industry.

"I believe it's great. I believe it's going to help us all survive out there," Harrold said. "It's one of the things that helps me survive, even though it's not my main source. I do think it's going to help other people survive like me who have other things to sell."

She said delta-8 makes up only a small part of her sales, but customers who do use it tout the pain relief it brings.

She said the signals coming from the DEA also takes away another kind of worry by hemp shop owners.

"It will allow us to not to be afraid to put our product back on our shelf without fear of being arrested," she said.

Harrold said she sells many regular CBD products, including edibles, water soluables, topicals, smokables, and CBD dog treats.

Harrold’s store had only been open a few weeks, when retailers were forced to take delta-8 products off the shelves.

Earlier this month a Texas judge blocked the State Department of Health Services from listing delta-8 as a schedule one controlled substance. The judge's ruling said the state did not adequately notify retailers. The state was expected to appeal the decision. Like Harrold, most retailers did not receive any advance notice that the substance was moved to the list as of Oct. 15.

Delta-8 has been sold openly in Texas by retailers who say it is legal thanks to the Farm Bill of 2018, which states the cannabinoid must be derived from the Hemp plant, and must not contain more point-three percent delta-9 THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

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