Is Delta-8 Legal in Washington?

Washington restricts delta-8 following an abrupt policy change in 2021.

Delta-8 THC product in Washington
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Hemp-derived delta-8 THC is restricted under Washington state law. Currently, the state bans the sale, purchase, and production of delta-8 THC products “chemically synthesized” from CBD. This ban also extends to other chemically synthesized THC isomers, including delta-10, THC-O, and HHC. As such, all THC isomers are Schedule I controlled substances under the state’s Uniform Controlled Substances Act. However, hemp-derived CBD is legal, and marijuana-derived CBD is regulated under the state’s medical and recreational cannabis laws.

Is delta-8 legal in Washington?

  • Delta-8 THC is restricted in Washington under state law and considered a controlled substance, provided the product is made from delta-8 synthetically converted CBD. 
  • The state bans the purchase, sale, distribution, and production of delta-8 products. 
  • Other THC isomers, including delta-10, THC-O, are also restricted under state law. 
  • Medical and recreational marijuana is legal. Washington legalized medical cannabis in 2008 and recreational marijuana in 2012 through voter initiatives. 
  • Hemp-derived CBD is also legal but cannot be infused in foods and beverages under the FDA’s direction. Marijuana-derived CBD is legal but only available in licensed dispensaries.

Is delta-8 THC legal in Washington?

No, delta-8 is restricted in Washington. The purchase, sale, and production of delta-8 products chemically synthesized from CBD are prohibited, as outlined in Policy Statement #PS21-01 from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB), published April 18, 2021. 

The WSLCB’s bulletin states:

CBD isolate from hemp sources that is chemically synthesized into delta-8 and delta-9 would both be considered synthetic cannabinoids, and may not be produced or processed in licensed Washington State facilities.

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board
Washington policy on delta-8 THC

Later, the WSLCB published an enforcement bulletin on September 8, 2021, further detailing the specifics of Policy Statement #PS21-01, stating no processor can convert CBD or hemp into delta-8, nor can they buy or sell delta-8 THC products not legally produced.

Washington legal policy on hemp delta 8 thc

Legislative history of delta-8 THC in Washington

On December 20, 2018, the federal government signed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill). This Act legalizes and creates a regulatory framework for hemp, hemp production, hemp cultivation, and hemp-derived compounds (including hemp-derived delta-8) across all 50 US states. Department of Agriculture (USDA) implements hemp regulations across the state. 

Following the federal 2018 Farm Bill, many US states enacted their legislation legalizing hemp and hemp-derived compounds, including Washington, with the state’s passing of Senate 5276 on April 26, 2019, effective the same day. 

However, as noted in the WSLCB’s policy statement, chemically synthesized delta-8 is a Schedule I controlled substance under Washington’s Uniform Controlled Substances Act (RCW 69.50.204). You cannot legally sell, purchase, distribute, or manufacture products containing delta-8 chemically converted from isolated CBD. 

Since almost every delta-8 products carry delta-8 chemically synthesized from isolated CBD, this announcement means all delta-8 products are banned in Washington.

Purchasing delta-8 products in Washington

You cannot legally buy hemp or marijuana-derived delta-8 products that have been chemically converted from CBD in Michigan. If you find any retail vendor selling delta-8 products, we recommend caution.

Can you cross Washington state borders with delta-8?

No, since Washington restricts the sale, purchase, and production of hemp-derived delta-8—effectively making them illegal—we recommend you don’t cross state borders with delta-8 products in your possession, irrespective of whether you’re flying, driving, or traveling by train. 

Likewise, you cannot travel to Washington with marijuana-derived delta-8 either. Under federal law, marijuana and marijuana-derived products are illegal and considered Schedule I controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act. Since state borders are governed by the federal government, transporting marijuana and marijuana-derived delta-8 from one US state to another is a federal crime, even if both states legalize medical or recreational cannabis.

Is marijuana legal in Washington?

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

Marijuana flower grown in Washington

The state legalized medical cannabis in 2008 following Initiative 652, otherwise known as the Medical Use of Marijuana Act, which went into effect in 2008. Patients may possess up to 3 oz of marijuana flower, 48 oz of marijuana-infused products, 216 oz of liquid marijuana, and 21 grams of marijuana concentrate. Recreational cannabis for adults 21+ was legalized later in 2014 after the voter-approved Measure 502. 

Medical marijuana

Washington voters essentially legalized medical cannabis following the approval of Initiative 652 (the Medical Use of Marijuana Act), a ballot initiative that won 59% of the vote. 

The passing of Initiative 652 allows qualifying patients with debilitating or terminal illnesses access to a maximum 60-day supply of medical marijuana without fear of criminal prosecution. In 2008, the state defined a 60-day supply as up to 24 ounces of marijuana and 15 cannabis plants, but this has changed thanks to subsequent legislation. 

Currently, qualifying patients may possess the following quantities of medical marijuana:

  • 3 oz of marijuana flower 
  • 48 oz of marijuana-infused products (solid form)
  • 216 oz of liquid marijuana
  • 21 grams of marijuana concentrate 

Patients may also grow six cannabis plants for medicinal use and possess 8 oz of marijuana produced from these plants. 

Qualifying conditions include AIDs, cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and severe pain. 

Despite 130 illegal medical cannabis dispensaries opening across the state, the first licensed dispensary opened in 2014. 

Recreational marijuana

On November 6, 2012, Washington voters approved Initiative 502 (I-502), a ballot measure allowing adults aged 21 and over to use and possess cannabis for recreational purposes legally. The initiative won with 56% of the vote, and the subsequent law went into effect December 6, 2012, making Washington the first US state to legalize adult-use recreational cannabis.

However, the sale, production, and cultivation of recreational cannabis remained illegal until the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Control board created a regulatory framework later in 2013. The first recreational cannabis dispensaries and storefronts opened on July 8, 2014. 

Under Initiative 502, Washington adults can legally possess:

  • 1 oz of marijuana flower
  • 7 grams of marijuana concentrate 
  • 16 oz of marijuana edibles 
  • 72 oz of marijuana liquid 

Recreational cannabis users in Washington can only legally purchase recreational cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries and stores. Public consumption of cannabis is prohibited.

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

No, you cannot legally purchase delta-10, THC-O, HHC, or any other THC isomer chemically converted from CBD. The state considers all chemically altered THC isomers as Schedule I controlled substances under its Uniform Controlled Substances Act, meaning the sale, purchase, production, and manufacture of synthetically-derived THC isomer products are prohibited under state law.

Is cannabidiol (CBD) legal in Washington?

Yes, following the passage of Senate Bill 5276, Washington allows hemp-derived CBD and CBD products such as tinctures, topicals, and lotions, which are all widely available across the state. There are currently no CBD possession limits or restrictions. Washington residents are free to use, purchase, and possess any quantity of hemp-derived CBD at any given time. 

Related: What’s the Difference Between CBD and Delta-8 THC?

However, as per the FDA’s federal guidelines, Washington lawmakers banned the sale and production of CBD-infused foods and beverages, though marijuana-derived CBD foods and beverages remain legal to sell and purchase through state-licensed cannabis dispensaries.

Upcoming legislation that might change delta-8’s legality in Washington

There is currently no upcoming legislation that could change the legality of delta-8 in Washington.

Related: Where is Delta-8 Available?

Conclusion

Washington banning delta-8 products might come as a surprise, considering it has relaxed medical and recreational cannabis laws. However, with pressure from the DEA and its controversial IFR seeking to address the federal legality of delta-8, it’s no wonder that even states like Washington are shying away from leaving delta-8 unregulated.

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