March 17, 2022

Delta 8 THC survived the 2022 legislative session, but will it make it next year?

Delta 8 THC products next to hemp plants. - Alex Paul/WTIU-WFIU News

Delta 8 THC products next to hemp plants.

Alex Paul/WTIU-WFIU News

Delta 8 THC survived the 2022 legislative session, but the hemp-based marijuana alternative’s time in Indiana could be limited.

State Sen. R. Michael Young (R-Indianapolis), who, along with Sen. Liz Brown (R-Fort Wayne), wrote this session’s bill attempting to ban Delta 8, said the General Assembly will take the issue up again next year.

“Our intent is not to make a hallucinogenic drug,” Young said. “So, we're not we're not going to go along with it.”

Delta 8 has become increasingly popular in recent years, as hemp producers discovered CBD distillate could be converted to different forms of THC, the chemical component of marijuana that gets users “high.”

Gas stations, CBD shops and other vendors across the state have been advertising Delta 8 edibles, vape cartridges and more as legal alternatives to traditional marijuana. Young said state agencies had reached out prior to the 2022 session to express their concern with the substance’s growing popularity.

“The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) on this issue says if it's naturally derived, that it's legal; if it's synthetically derived, it is illegal,” Young said. “The problem is, for our police departments, we can't tell which one's derived naturally or which one's done synthetically.”

Senate Bill 209 died this session because of concerns its language would outlaw CBD oil, according to Young.

The General Assembly then removed the bill’s drug language to make room for a permitless carry bill, but ended up using House Bill 1296 for that instead. The gun bill awaits the governor’s signature.

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