Appeals Court Rules Delta-8 THC Is Federally Legal, Did Trump Gov Do This On Purpose With Farm Bill Approval?

Since Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed many legal restrictions on hemp, there has been a dilemma around the legal status of the cannabinoid Delta-8 THC.

This Thursday, however, a conservative panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco brought the dilemma to an end, ruling that the products containing delta-8 THC are legal because federal law from 2018 made “any part of” the cannabis plant, including “all derivatives, extracts, [and] cannabinoids that contain less than 0.3 percent delta-9 THC by weight.”

“Regardless of the wisdom of legalizing Delta-8 THC products, this court will not substitute its own policy judgment for that of Congress,” Judge D. Michael Fisher said in the 3-0 ruling, reported the San Francisco Chronicle. If the legalization was unintentional, he said, Congress can change it.

Fisher, a judge on the federal appeals court in Philadelphia temporarily assigned to the Ninth Circuit, was appointed by George W. Bush. He was accompanied by Judges Andrew Kleinfeld, also appointed by Bush, and Mark Bennet, who was appointed by Trump.

The court also noted that Delta-8 THC has “psychoactive and intoxicating effects” like those of cannabis, but is not a cannabis product.

The case was not about a drug prosecution, but a trademark suit by a company called AK Futures that sells cigarettes and vaping products containing Delta-8 THC. AK Futures accused Los Angeles retailer, Boyd Street Distro of selling counterfeit versions of its products.

Confirming a federal judge’s ruling, the court said AK Futures is selling legal products and therefore has the right to sue for trademark violation. 

Dale Gieringer, California director of NORML was not pleased with the ruling, and here is why:

“The court is federally legalizing a psychoactive cannabinoid about which relatively little is known, while keeping the amply studied Delta-9 illegal,” Gieringer said.“It makes more sense to legalize Delta-9, which has been studied exhaustively in thousands of subjects and research protocols over the decades,” Gieringer said.

Photo: Courtesy of Jeff W on Unsplash

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Posted In: CannabisNewsMarketsAK FuturesAndrew KleinfeldBoyd Street DistroDale GieringerDelta-8 THCDonald TrumpGeorge W. BushMark BennetNORMLSan Francisco Chronicle
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