Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Arizona?

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Lee Johnson

Lee Johnson is the senior editor at CBD Oracle, and has been covering science, vaping and cannabis for over 10 years. He has a MS in Theoretical Physics from Uppsala...

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Delta-8 THC flower products in Arizona
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Delta-8 THC is legal in Arizona, but the state’s law surrounding the cannabinoid is a little unclear.

Arizona hemp law basically ties itself to federal rules, so the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act (i.e. the “Farm Bill”) and its lax requirements are really all that applies in Arizona.

With legal cannabis available for adults in the state, some legislators want to bring delta-8 THC under the same regulations, while others are fighting for it to be more explicitly recognized and regulated as hemp in law. 

So, while the situation is likely to change, here are the most important Arizona hemp laws as of now. 

Delta-8 THC products are legal to sell in Arizona, despite some confusion around the law. The state follows federal regulations on hemp and no bills have passed (so far) specifically relating to delta-8 THC.

Arizona’s hemp law is a little different from many states. While Senate Bill (SB) 1098 defined hemp in the manner of the 2014 Farm Bill (without specifying “all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids…”), the bill also states that

If authorized under federal law, the commercial production, processing, manufacturing, distribution and commerce of industrial hemp in this state is allowed outside of the agricultural pilot program.

Additionally, the state’s controlled substances list also references federal law, which in turn exempts hemp from the definition of THCs. Marijuana is legal in Arizona too, so even if the federal definition of hemp is changed so it doesn’t include delta-8 THC products, they could still be sold in state-licensed dispensaries.

RELATED: Where Is Delta-8 THC Legal? A State-by-State Map

Delta-8 THC Legislation Timeline for Arizona 

Delta-8 THC was legalized in Arizona when the federal Farm Bill passed in December 2018, and has remained legal in the state since then.  

Arizona’s hemp program almost got started in May 2017, when SB 1337 made it to the Governor’s desk, but was vetoed due to concerns about funding. However, the next year, the legislature was successful in passing SB 1098, which established the rules described above. In short, it tied Arizona hemp law to federal law, and in the process, delta-8 THC was legalized when the 2018 Farm Bill passed later that year.

In November 2020, the Safe and Smart Act legalized marijuana for adult use in Arizona. While hemp products were subject to the Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT), they remained the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture

Bills proposed in 2023 aim to regulate delta-8 THC and similar intoxicating cannabinoids, one (SB 1453) intending to regulate them as part of the existing marijuana industry and another (SB 1271) that would keep it under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture.

Can Delta-8 THC Be Added to Food? 

Hemp delta-8 THC cannot be added to food in Arizona, according to state law. However, it appears that delta-8 THC edibles are still sold in the state. 

Since Arizona’s hemp law (SB 1098) defers explicitly to federal rules, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act applies, and the FDA considers this to forbid adding delta-8 THC (or CBD) to food. If there was a specific state law, federal jurisdiction would only be triggered for interstate sales, but Arizona law explicitly states that federal rules apply to commercial hemp sales.

However, at the same time, edibles are allowed under the state’s adult use marijuana program, and so it’s possible that delta-8 edibles could be legally allowed under that system. A 2023 proposal, SB 1271, would create a category of “hemp derived products,” which would explicitly allow for edible hemp products. 

Can You Buy Delta-8 in Arizona? 

Delta-8 THC is available for sale in Arizona, from both physical stores and online retailers. Despite some confusion around the law in the state, reports confirm that it can be bought from stores in the state.

RELATED: The Best Delta-8 THC Brands, Reviewed

Delta-8 Alternatives You Can Legally Buy in Arizona 

Delta-7, delta-10, HHC and other THC isomers are also legal in Arizona, by the same logic that delta-8 THC is legal. Additionally, marijuana itself is legal in the state, so arguably the best alternative to delta-8 THC would be a milder-than-average strain bought from a state-licensed dispensary. 

Age Restrictions

Delta-8 THC products have no age restriction in Arizona. This would be instituted by a law currently under consideration (at time of writing, July 2023), but currently this issue is not addressed in law. In practice, stores generally won’t sell intoxicating products to minors, but they have no legal obligation.   

Public Consumption

Technically there are no limitations on where you can consume delta-8 THC in public in Arizona, other than existing prohibitions on indoor smoking. However, smoking delta-8 THC would likely be confused for smoking marijuana, and this is not allowed in public in the state. 

Arizona DUI Law

It is illegal to drive under the influence of delta-8 THC in Arizona.

Delta-8 THC vape product

State law for driving under the influence refers to “any drug” that impairs the person “to the slightest degree,” and also that it’s illegal to drive with any metabolites of cannabis in your body.

In short, there is absolutely no legal justification for driving with delta-8 THC in your system, and in fact many legal marijuana users will undoubtedly break this law on a regular basis. It takes weeks for the metabolite to leave your system as a regular user. 

Punishments in the first instance include between 10 and 180 days in jail, fines of $1,800 (plus jail costs), license suspension for 90 days and having an ignition interlock installed on your vehicle for 12 months. 

Traveling to Arizona With Delta-8 Products 

Delta-8 THC is generally considered to have been legalized federally and also in Arizona with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, so you can travel to Arizona with delta-8.

Although you are technically allowed to bring delta-8 THC into Arizona (and the TSA probably won’t do anything about it on flights), it’s a good idea to bring a receipt or a Certificate of Analysis (COA) showing that your product is federally legal. 

Closing Thoughts: The Future for Delta-8 in Arizona 

Medical marijuana legally cultivated in Arizona

Two major delta-8 THC bills were proposed in 2023 in Arizona: SB 1453 and SB 1271

These essentially amount to a “turf war,” in the eyes of one state legislator, with SB 1453 aiming to bring “hemp derived manufactured impairing cannabinoids” under the control of the state’s regulated cannabis industry and SB 1271 aiming to simply add regulations to the current system.

In essence, the marijuana industry wants to sell delta-8 THC in dispensaries and the hemp industry wants to keep it out of the marijuana industry. 

However, SB 1453 failed to pass the committee stage, leaving SB 1271 as the only technically active bill. That said, there has been no action on SB 1271 for around 4 months (at the time of writing). It’s currently unclear whether there will be more movement on this bill, but despite criticism, the bill would legally limit sales to adults aged 21 or over. 

While we don’t expect this bill to become law this year, it’s clear that legislators are intent on addressing this inconsistency in their state law. All in all, it’s likely delta-8 THC will be restricted by Arizona legislators before the end of 2024.