Is Delta-8 Legal in Alaska?

Alaska’s cannabis laws are confusing. Medical and recreational marijuana is legal. CBD is regulated. Delta-8 is illegal. Find out how and why here.

Hemp delta-8 THC plant grown in Alaska for consumption
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Delta-8 THC is restricted and illegal under Alaska state law. 

Alaska considers delta-8 a controlled substance, meaning the use, possession, sale, distribution, purchase, production, and promotion of delta-8 products are prohibited. 

Likewise, the state also restricts the sale of other THC isomers such as delta-10, HHC, and THC-O. Hemp-derived CBD is also restricted. Alaska has yet to authorize the sale, production, and distribution of all hemp-derived products. 

However, Alaska has legalized medical and recreational marijuana.


Summary

  • Unfortunately, hemp-derived delta-8 is illegal in Alaska. You cannot use, possess, sell, distribute, market, or produce delta-8 products anywhere in the state. The same goes for all other THC isomers, including delta-10, HHC, and THC-O.
  • You cannot purchase delta-8 THC products online or through physical retail stores. 
  • Hemp-derived CBD is regulated in Alaska. All hemp-derived products must be licensed, rigorously tested, and carry below 0.3% THC. 
  • Medical and recreational marijuana is legal in Alaska.

Is delta-8 legal in Alaska?

Hemp-derived delta-8 is illegal in Alaska. The state classifies it as a Schedule IIIA controlled substance, meaning you cannot legally sell, purchase, promote, or produce delta-8 products. The penalty for possessing delta-8 is either a misdemeanor or a Class C felony depending on quantity and intent.

The legislative history of delta-8 in Alaska

Delta-8 has never been officially legal in Alaska. No legislation has directly authorized delta-8 or any other hemp-derived compound, including CBD, CBG, and CBC. All current legislation has either established a hemp pilot program or regulations surrounding the sale, production, and marketing of hemp products. 

In April 2018, then Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed Senate Bill 6 into law. This bill introduced Alaska’s first industrial hemp pilot program and authorized the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Agriculture (DoAg) to research the cultivation and marketing of hemp. 

On April 4th, 2020, the DoAg implemented the Alaska Industrial Hemp Pilot Program. This hemp pilot program followed the guidance of 2014’s Farm Bill (Section 7606) and the aforementioned Senate Bill 6. It also gave Alaskan businesses legal ways to produce and market hemp and hemp products. Later, in September 2021, current Governor Mike Dunleavy approved and signed Senate Bill 27 into law, creating a permanent hemp pilot program that falls in line with the 2018 Farm Bill. It also creates a strict regulatory system for the sale, production, and marketing of hemp, hemp compounds, and hemp-derived products.

Can you buy delta-8 in Alaska?

Delta-8 THC is tightly regulated and illegal in AK. You cannot purchase delta-8 products in the state, either online or through physical retail stores. Likewise, cannabis businesses cannot sell, distribute, market, or produce delta-8 in any form.

If you see delta-8 products sold online or through unlicensed physical stores — be warned. These products are sold outside state law. If you’re caught possessing or using delta-8 products, you can face significant fines or jail time depending on quantity and intent. 

RELATED: Is Delta-8 Legal?

Can you travel to Alaska with delta-8?

You cannot legally enter Alaska with delta-8 THC in your possession. Delta-8 THC products are illegal. 

Likewise, you also cannot travel across Alaska state borders with marijuana or marijuana-derived delta-8 products.

All types of marijuana are illegal under federal law and considered controlled substances under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. 

Since the federal government owns and controls state borders, transportation of marijuana from one state to another is prohibited and potentially viewed as drug trafficking.

RELATED: Is Delta-8 Visible on a Drug Test?

Is marijuana legal in Alaska?

Cannabis flower grown in Alaska for medicinal use

Yes, medical and recreational marijuana is legal in Alaska under state law. 

In 1998, Alaskans approved the Alaska Marijuana Initiative (Measure 8), a ballot initiative supporting and legalizing the use and possession of medical cannabis. 

Later, in 2014, Alaskans voted in favor of Measure 2, legalizing the use, possession, purchase, distribution, and production of recreational cannabis. 

Medical marijuana laws in Alaska

Alaska legalized medical marijuana in 1998. State voters approved the Alaska Medical Marijuana Initiative, otherwise known as Measure 8, with 59% in favor and 41% against. 

Measure 8 Poll results for legalizing medical marijuana in Alaska

Under this initiative, qualifying patients can legally use and possess cannabis for medicinal purposes, provided they obtain a doctor’s recommendation. It also created a registration and ID card system. 

At the time, qualifying conditions include:

  • Cancer
  • Immune deficiency syndrome
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple sclerosis 
  • Epilepsy 
  • Severe pain
  • Nausea

However, Measure 8 didn’t allow medical marijuana use or possession outside of a patient’s home, nor did it create a system for medical cannabis dispensaries to operate within the state. In other words, patients were unable to legally purchase medical marijuana even with a doctor’s recommendation, often resorting to illegal black market products. 

Recreational marijuana laws

Recreational marijuana is legal in Alaska under state law following the voter-approved Ballot Measure 2 (Alaska Marijuana Legalization) in 2014. 

Alaska ballot measure 2 marijuana legalization in 2014

Ballot Measure 2 allows adults aged 21 and over legal use, possession, purchase, sale, and distribution of recreational cannabis. The law went into effect in February 2015. 

Alaska’s first recreational cannabis dispensary opened its doors on October 29, 2016, two years after the approval of Ballot Measure 2. 

Legal possession of recreational cannabis outside your residence is limited to 1 oz of flower, 7 grams of cannabis concentrate, or a THC quantity of fewer than 5.6 grams. 

Possessing more than 1 oz (23.35 grams) but below 4 oz is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $10,000 fine. 

Alaska residents can also grow and cultivate 12 cannabis plants at home for personal use but not with the intent to sell, distribute, or traffic. However, of the 12 plants, six or fewer must not be flowering. None of the plants can be in public view. 

The Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office (AMCO) and the Marijuana Control Board (MCB) oversee and regulate recreational cannabis in Alaska. 

RELATED: How Long Does It Take to Feel High from Delta-8?

Can you buy delta-10 THC, THC-O, or HHC in Alaska?

No, you cannot buy delta-10, THC-O, HHC, or any other THC isomer product in Alaska. Like delta-8, the state considers THC isomers as controlled substances. The use, possession, sale, distribution, and production of any THC isomer product is prohibited under Alaska state law. 

RELATED: HHC vs THC: Which is Better?

Is CBD legal in Alaska?

Selling CBD products at a store in Alaska

Despite an influx of hemp-derived CBD online and through unlicensed physical retail stores, Alaska does not permit the sale or distribution of unlicensed hemp CBD products. 

Any online or physical store selling unlicensed hemp-derived CBD products potentially operates outside state law. 

In an official release published in December 2018, the Alaska Consumer Protection Unit states Alaska does not authorize the sale of hemp-derived products, putting out a warning to all consumers:

The Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Unit is warning the public about the marketing of a variety of industrial hemp-derived products that are currently not authorized for sale in Alaska. Products containing Cannabidiol (CBD) oil and extracts are being widely sold throughout Alaska but are unregulated and untested in the state at this time. Due to their lack of traceability, many of these products are of unknown origin. CBD is a derivative of the industrial hemp plant. CBD oil may also be derived from marijuana, resulting in oil which exceeds the legal limit of .3 percent Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) threshold expected in industrial hemp-derived products.

Alaska Consumer Protection Unit

In 2017, the Alaska Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office (AMCO) raided several weed stores operating within the state, confiscating all hemp-derived CBD products imported from other states or countries. 

Under proposed laws announced in 2019, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources will regulate hemp products. 

Companies growing, producing, and selling hemp-derived products will need to apply for licensing. All licenses will require annual renewal. 

Licensing Fees are high. The application fee, alone, is $100. The processor registration fee for products created for human or animal consumption is $650. Retailers will need $300 to register. 

Upcoming legislation in Alaska

There is currently no legislation that could change or amend delta-8’s legality in Alaska. 

Conclusion

Confusion reigns supreme in Alaska. On the one hand, medical and recreational cannabis is fully legal across the state. On the other hand, delta-8 is illegal and all other hemp-derived compounds are regulated. 

The conflicting laws surrounding cannabis compounds, including delta-8, isn’t new. Most US states have no idea what to do with them. Some states outright ban delta-8 but allow a free CBD market, while other states prohibit recreational cannabis but allow delta-8. For now, we recommend staying away from delta-8 in Alaska. Do not attempt to buy delta-8 online or through unlicensed physical stores.

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