What’s the Deal with New York and Delta 8?
New York has been making headlines recently with its controversial move to outlaw delta 8 tetrahydrocannabinol. This decision has spurred many concerns amongst users as well as small businesses who sell it. On March 31st, New York legalized recreational marijuana. Because of this, there is a lot of confusion revolving around the state of New York’s position on cannabis. This article will break down everything you need to know regarding New York and delta 8 THC.
The rising popularity of delta 8
Over the past few months, public awareness of delta 8 has grown substantially. The reason for this is simple: people enjoy it. Delta 8 has many excellent health benefits, including pain reduction and sleep aid. But beyond that, people simply enjoy the way it makes them feel. It makes you feel good. It gives you a calming high. It’s an excellent way to relax. People use delta 8 for the same reason they use CBD or marijuana: they want to experience the benefits of cannabis.
CBD provides calming effects but does not offer any psychotropic aspects. On the other hand, marijuana offers intense psychotropic effects that can be too strong for casual use. Delta 8 provides a nice middle ground between the two.
New York’s decision
As public awareness for delta 8 has grown, the cannabinoid has gained some unwarranted negative attention. With a new set of amendments released early this month, the state of New York has revised its stance on delta 8 THC.
Section 1005.7 in the amendment states, “All cannabinoid hemp processors shall not use synthetic cannabinoids, or Δ8-tetrahydrocannabinol or Δ10-tetrahydrocannabinol created through isomerization, in the extraction or manufacturing of any cannabinoid hemp products.”
Based on the wording of this amendment, we can see that the state has completely banned the substance itself, along with any products that may contain delta 8. These changes have not gone into effect yet, because they still need to pass “public comment.”
Also referred to as vox populi, public comment is the process by which a public consultation is held. This meeting includes state representatives and parties who would be most affected by the proposed changes, as well as community leaders and activists. At the end of these hearings, the lawmakers must take into account any significant comments or objections into the final draft of their new bill. The new regulations are set to go into effect in late summer or fall.
From popularity to infamy
New York is the latest of many states who have taken actions against the purchase and sale of delta 8. Other states include Colorado, Delaware, and Alabama, to name a few.
The wording of 1005.7 (see above) does something very subtle but effective. It groups delta 8 and delta 10 THC into the same category as synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetic cannabinoids are chemicals fortified in a lab to mimic the effect of cannabis on the brain. You may have heard synthetic cannabinoids referred to by their other names: spice and K2. These substances used to be legally sold in smoke shops and were marketed as a legal marijuana alternative. Eventually, people became aware of just how dangerous these synthetic cannabinoids were. They can cause a plethora of nasty side effects, including seizures and even death. You can read the CDC’s full report on the dangers of synthetic cannabinoids here.
As we’ve already touched on in a previous article, delta 8 is in no way associated with synthetic cannabinoids. Delta 8 is not a synthetic substance at all, hence why NY amendments list them as “cannabinoids created through extraction.” Δ8 and Δ10 cannot be called synthetic because they are both molecules found naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. However, it is found in very low amounts, so it would take a vast amount of hemp to cultivate any significant amount of delta 8. Thus most of the delta 8 products you find contain Δ8 that has been converted from CBD through a process called isomerization. But this doesn’t change the fact that Δ8 is natural and entirely safe for human consumption, unlike synthetic cannabinoids.
This ploy is a tactic often used by opponents of delta 8. By grouping it in with synthetic cannabinoids, New York can conjure fear and confusion for those who are uneducated on delta 8.
New York and Cannabis
This new move to ban delta 8 comes just days after New York became the 17th US state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. This might seem like a bit of a head-scratcher. Legalizing marijuana would make one think that New York is a cannabis-friendly state, but the opposition to delta 8 counteracts that.
Delta 8 is found naturally occurring within marijuana, but it is in such low amounts that it’s unlikely to pose any relevance regarding these new restrictions. Perhaps supporters of the marijuana industry fear that delta 8 would pose too much competition. As far as the reasons, we can only speculate at the moment.
While the reasons for New York’s banning of delta 8 remain unclear, one thing is for certain: many are not happy about it. It appears that these state legislators forget why delta 8 has become so mainstream in the first place; it’s something that people want.
Many firsthand accounts have risen to the surface since the prevalence of delta 8 products. Stories where users have struggled with insomnia for years and have finally been able to rest thanks to delta 8. Stories where users have been able to rely on delta 8 for a cure to their anxiety or ADHD and thus have been able to stop taking harsh prescription medication with a laundry list of side effects. Click here to read some user accounts of Δ8.
What’s more, in a year of economic turmoil, many small business owners have claimed that delta 8 products and their retail success provided them with just enough of a financial boost to keep from going under during the height of the pandemic. These new laws in New York will create massive income cuts to small businesses statewide, and you can bet that these business owners are not going to be too happy about it.
For more information regarding state-by-state laws on delta 8, click here.