Another issue in play in the Delta-8 debacle is that widely available, intoxicating products in gas stations undercut the legal marijuana industry. The marijuana industry’s secret sauce is the ability to create a product intended to produce an intoxicating or psychoactive effect. Over the counter sales of Delta-8 THC products essentially compete with the marijuana industry, which has a lot of money and a lot to protect.
Beyond Delta-8 THC, the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division does not want any modified or synthetic THC derivatives from industrial hemp on dispensary shelves. While there’s surely a plethora of reasons for this, there are also valid concerns about product quality from hemp-derived compounds, including high concentrations of heavy metals, residual chemical pesticides, and the like.
What Is The Future For Delta 8 THC
While the rise and fall of Delta-8 THC certainly showcases a recent drama in the cannabis industry, perhaps this was all fairly predictable. After all, America and its farmers have always been celebrated for ingenuity. Over the last several years, farmers have grown hundreds of thousands of acres of industrial hemp for CBD extraction. And it's gone nowhere. In 2019, the CBD bubble burst, and folks who jumped in head first - from farmers to processors to product manufacturers - either had to pivot quickly or die. In the absence of a regulatory framework for hemp-derived cannabinoids, there are limited viable outlets to consistently sell product.
But this is America. Farmers and businesses were never just going to sit back and take this loss while waiting for the government to provide clarity. They found a market and figured out how to use those thousands of tons of American-grown hemp. The legalization of industrial hemp through the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill was predicated on the ability of this crop to stimulate the farming and rural community. This was supposed to be a glimmer of hope for a future that hasn’t looked particularly bright for the American agricultural industry.
When you consider the CBD market crash, paired with a global pandemic and everything in between, you can’t help but smile at the ability of Americans to make lemonade. In the wake of these Delta-8 bans, and as federal regulators continue to finalize a regulatory framework, I can’t help but think the creative innovation of this industry will uncover yet another opportunity to keep the dream alive.