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Texas Department of State Health Services adds delta-8 THC to list of illegal drugs

Delta-8 Products At Sean's Essentials In San Antonio
Jerry Clayton
Delta-8 Products At Sean's Essentials In San Antonio

The Texas Department of State Health Services has added a popular hemp derivative being sold in Texas to a list of illegal drugs.

Delta-8 is a form of THC and is derived from legally grown hemp. It’s considered a milder form of THC than its cousin, delta-9, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.Retailers in Texas have been selling delta-8 products over the counter. But last Friday the Department of State Health Services quietly added delta-8 to its list of illegal drugs.

Delta-8 has been considered legal by retailers and customers, who say it falls under the Farm Bill of 2018, which legalized Hemp and its derivatives, as long as the THC content is less than 0.3%. Carla Harrold recently opened her store in Magnolia and carries a large selection of delta-8 products. She called the DSHS and was told that she was no longer allowed to carry the products in her store, or she could face consequences.

"To me it meant I would go to jail," she said

Ben Meggs is CEO of Bayou City Hemp in Houston, one of the largest Hemp processors in the state. His company along with Hometown Hero, a retailer of Delta-8 products, has filed a temporary restraining order after the agency’s decision.

“We believe they've violated the procedural rights and overextended their jurisdiction in classifying Delta eight as an illegal schedule one controlled substance,” Meggs said.

A ruling is expected on the restraining order by Friday.

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Jerry Clayton can be reached at jerry@tpr.org or on Twitter at @jerryclayton.