Montana Bans Delta-8 THC As a Synthetic Cannabinoid

Delta-8 THC can’t be sold in Montana (even by cannabis dispensaries).

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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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Fact checked byNeil Willner

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Neil Willner

Neil M. Willner is an experienced cannabis attorney at Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld LLC and co-chair of the firm's Cannabis Group. He focuses his practice on the cannabis industry and...

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Delta-8 THC has been banned in Montana since House Bill 948 passed in May 2023, and it’s unlikely that things will change in the future.

While many states haven’t taken action on delta-8 THC or have simply funneled it into the existing system for marijuana, Montana has taken a more decisive step and banned the cannabinoid in any market in the state.

While the issue of delta-8 THC has now been addressed in the state, it’s still a good idea to learn about the specifics of the law and how we got here. 

Delta-8 THC is not legal to sell in Montana, because it is considered a synthetic cannabinoid by the state.

Although Montana law previously defined hemp in line with the federal definition, the passage of House Bill (HB) 948 in May 2023 outlaws all commercial delta-8 THC products.

This bill defines synthetic cannabinoids (section 16-12-102(40)/page 10) as including “any cannabinoids produced artificially, whether from chemical synthesis or biosynthesis using recombinant biological agents,” and calls any product made with them a “synthetic marijuana product.” This means that delta-8 THC products – which are made from hemp-derived CBD – are all included in this definition. 

In turn, the bill excludes synthetic cannabinoids from the definition of hemp (section 80-18-101(1)(b)/page 27) and marijuana (section 16-12-102(20)(C)/page 8), and opens with an explicit ban on any products made with synthetic cannabinoids (section 1(1)/page 1): “A person may not manufacture, process, or offer for sale a synthetic marijuana product.” In a nutshell, this means delta-8 THC (and products made similarly, like other THC isomers and HHC) cannot be sold either as hemp or marijuana in the state.

The bill also did a couple more things. Firstly, it places limits on the THC content of hemp products (section 1(3)/page 1) at 0.5 mg per serving and 2 mg per package. Secondly, it makes a “synthetic marijuana products advisory council” (section 3/page 3), with the goal of “recommendations on potential guidelines for safe methods of manufacturing, extracting, and synthesizing cannabinoids, including the sale of synthetic marijuana products.” 

The report is not due until September 15th, 2024, but it’s possible that the situation for delta-8 THC will change if the report offers valid suggestions.

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

Can You Buy Delta-8 THC Products in Montana? 

Delta-8 THC is not sold in Montana, following the passage of HB 948. It’s possible that less-than-careful online stores would still ship to the state, but this would be illegal.   

Are There Age Restrictions on Delta-8 THC Products? 

Delta-8 THC can’t be sold under any circumstances in Montana. However, if it was ever going to be sold in the state in the future, it would probably be as “marijuana” and limited to adults aged 21 or over. 

Closing Thoughts: The Future for Delta-8 THC in Montana 

Montana passed HB 948 in 2023, and it’s unlikely anything will change in the coming year. While the 2023 Farm Bill may change things for delta-8 THC at the federal level, it’s unlikely this change will affect Montana’s ban. In fact, there are signs that the Farm Bill will actually establish a similar rule, in line with recent DEA statements

The report from the newly-created synthetic marijuana products advisory council is due in September 2024, but it would be optimistic to assume they will recommend restarting sales. Overall, the future of delta-8 THC in Montana will probably be more of the same – HB 948 is the new normal.