Texas lawmakers consider reining in Delta-8

Some lawmakers are contemplating a statewide ban on Delta 8 and 9, hemp-derived products that can produce a marijuana-like high and are currently legally available to purchase in Texas.

By David Martin Davies, Texas Public RadioJune 5, 2024 9:07 am, ,

From Texas Public Radio:

Last week, the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs held a public hearing to examine products like Delta-8 and Delta-9, which are hemp products that produce an intoxicating high. These products are legally sold in Texas, but that could change in the coming legislative session.

The U.S. market for Delta-8 THC and other hemp-derived cannabinoids has increased a whopping 1,300% in just the last three years. It shot up from $200 million in sales 2020 to nearly $2.8 billion in 2023, according to the analytics firm Brightfield Group.

In Texas where legal cannabis is not available, the hemp-based products Delta-8 and 9 are. It’s a market that is largely unregulated. The gummies, vape juice and smokables are being sold in specialty shops, corner convenience store and even in vending machines.

A Texas Senate Committee heard the story of Veronica Rios, who said her son is addicted to THC products. Rio begged the lawmakers to find a way to ban THC.

Susan Hays, an attorney who works in regulating cannabis products, said Texas laws are outdated.

But Hays said there are many people who use these products for their medical benefits because the Texas compassionate use program doesn’t work.

Dr. Matthew Rossheim at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s School of Public Health has written multiple papers on derived intoxicating cannabis products. He told the senators these products are being marketed directly at children.

He said it’s impossible to know right now what all the negative health effects are for children using THC and it’s impossible to regulate because the industry stays one step ahead of the laws.

Rossheim said there needed to be a comprehensive ban on all cannabis derived intoxicating products.

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on texasstandard.org and TPR.org. Thanks for donating today.