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Delta-8 products are legal again in Texas, for now

A judge has blocked Texas from listing the cannabis extract delta-8 THC as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Shops in Texas can now resume offering delta-8 to customers.

Delta-8 is derived from the hemp plant and contains a milder form of the psychoactive element THC than is found in marijuana. It was being sold openly in Texas until the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) added it to a list of illegal drugs in October. The judge ruled the state did not adequately notify retailers.

Like most shop owners who were selling delta-8 products, Carla Harrold said she was not contacted by anyone from the state about the listing.

“They’ve never in any kind of way reached out, themselves,” she said.

When delta-8 recently went on the DSHS list, she attempted to contact the agency to clarify. After several days, she spoke with a representative who she said told her "delta-8 is illegal and you're not allowed to sell it." Harrold had just opened her store which sells delta-8 products when the substance became illegal. She restocked her shelves Tuesday morning following the ruling.

Judge Jan Soifer of Texas' 126th District granted the injunction in Travis County. The suit was filed by Hometown Hero, a delta-8 retailer, along with a hemp processing facility in Houston.

Delta-8 had 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%.

The state is expected to appeal the ruling.

Copyright 2021 Texas Public Radio. To see more, visit Texas Public Radio.

Jerry Clayton