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

 Delta-8 Products At Sean's Essentials In San Antonio
Jerry Clayton
Texas Public Radio
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 its list of illegal drugs.

Delta-8 is derived from legally grown hemp and is a form of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that gets people high. Retailers in Texas have been selling delta-8 products over the counter. But on Friday, DSHS quietly clarified on its website that delta-8 is illegal.

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 their THC content is less than 0.3%.

Carla Harrold opened a CBD store in Magnolia this month that carries a large selection of delta-8 products. She called DSHS and was told she was no longer allowed to carry the products 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 asked a district court for a temporary restraining order to stop the state from considering delta-8 illegal.

“We believe they've violated the procedural rights and overextended their jurisdiction in classifying delta-8 as an illegal schedule one controlled substance,” Meggs said.

A ruling is expected on the restraining order by Friday.

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

Jerry Clayton
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