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January 25, 2023
Delta 8

Is Delta-8 Legal in Pennsylvania?

Yes, despite ongoing attempts by state lawmakers to legislate against it, hemp-derived delta-8 THC is currently legal in Pennsylvania. Today the possession, use, sale, distribution, and production of delta-8 THC is legal in the Keystone State.

Other isomers of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) including THC-O and HHC, are legal, as are hemp-derived CBD, CBC, and CBG products under state law. Medical marijuana is legal, although in Pennsylvania recreational cannabis remains illegal except in certain cities.

In this post, we’ll cover:

  • What is delta-8 THC?
  • Legislative history of delta-8 THC and medical cannabis under Pennsylvania state law and federal law
  • The current legal status of hemp-derived as well as THC isomers
  • Answers to other FAQs

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 is one of many cannabinoids that naturally occur in the Cannabis sativa plant. The difference between marijuana and hemp plants is a legal distinction; they are both cannabis plants. The legal difference is based on how much delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is in the plant.

Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8 THC) is an isomer of delta-9 THC. Delta-8 THC is psychoactive like delta-9 THC, but it is less intoxicating, milder, and produces fewer of the classic THC side effects.

Depending on what’s available where you are, delta-8 THC can be found in edibles like delta-8 gummies, vape cartridges, tinctures, and flower.

The Legislative History of Delta-8 THC in Pennsylvania

Is delta-8 THC legal in Pennsylvania? Yes, right now delta-8 is legal in Pennsylvania.

Under state law it is legal to possess, produce, distribute, market, sell, and buy delta-8 products. All delta-8 THC products must be derived from industrial hemp plants with no more than 0.3% dry weight delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9 THC).

Plants with more delta-9 THC are considered marijuana, and marijuana-derived delta-8 THC is legal only for registered medical cannabis patients.

Pennsylvania House Bill 967 legalized delta-8 THC in July 2016. This bill legalizes all hemp plants and any hemp products derived from them so long as the plants carry no more than 0.3% THC as described above.

This was a slightly unusual sequence in that it preceded the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized industrial hemp plants under federal law. This 2018 bill was a watershed change that caused a wave of states to follow its passage, legalizing hemp and delta-8 THC soon after 2018, and mirroring its language as they did so.

However, although Pennsylvania’s law is one of those that came earlier, the language in PA is still very similar, and delta-8 and other analogs are legal. Of course, in 2022 some Pennsylvania lawmakers started to push a ban on hemp-derived delta-8 THC and products that contain it.

Pennsylvania Senators Sharif Street and Judith L. Schwank issued a memorandum in April 2022 to the Pennsylvania State Senate describing their intent to introduce legislation that would ban delta-8 THC.

What are Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Laws?

Pennsylvania became the 24th medical cannabis state on April 17, 2016, after Governor Tim Wolf signed Senate Bill 3 (SB 3). The new law allowed only non-smokable medical cannabis and did not allow home cultivation.

In January 2018, Pennsylvania’s first medical marijuana dispensaries opened. There are now well over 100 medical cannabis dispensaries.

In 2021 Gov. Wolf signed House Bill 1024 (HB 1024) into law, updating Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis program and expanding the list of qualifying conditions from 17 to over 40. HB 1024 also allows vape products, whole-plant cannabis flower, and foods and drinks. And although smoking cannabis flower remains prohibited, vape carts are not.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health implements rules, oversees the state’s medical marijuana program, and issues and regulates licenses for processors, growers, and dispensaries across the state.

What are Pennsylvania’s Recreational Marijuana Laws?

Recreational marijuana is illegal in Pennsylvania. However, the state has taken steps to make low-level offenses less onerous.

Possession of under 30 grams of recreational cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in prison and a fine of up to $500. And several cities including Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Steelton, Pittsburgh, and York have decriminalized possession of small quantities of cannabis.

Other FAQs About Delta-8 THC in Pennsylvania

Is CBD legal in Pennsylvania?

CBD and CBD-infused products are legal in Pennsylvania, as long as the CBD comes from hemp plants that have less than 0.3% delta-9 THC. Pennsylvania legalized hemp-derived CBD in 2016 after SB 967 legalized hemp-derived products, including CBD.

Marijuana-derived CBD is allowed for medical marijuana patients only. Only those with a valid state-licensed medical cannabis card can buy marijuana-derived CBD.

There are no possession limits for hemp-derived CBD and you can use and buy CBD products in any quantity.

Where should I buy hemp-derived delta-8 in Pennsylvania?

You can still buy delta-8 THC products online and through physical retailers. In fact, the strange dearth of regulation has led to everything from delta-8 vapes to gummies being sold in places like head shops and gas stations.

Some physical stores may be a decent option for delta-8 products, only stocking high-quality brands that test for contaminants and additives, but buying from proven online delta-8 vendors is always safer.

Final Thoughts on the Legality of Delta-8 THC in Pennsylvania

Delta-8’s legal status seems to be in flux in Pennsylvania. But where some states seem to be choosing to regulate delta-8 THC products, Pennsylvania might totally ban delta-8 THC products. Chances are excellent that a ban will leave only the worst quality goods on the market as all of the reputable companies online refuse to ship, and only the most reckless risk-takers remain in the market.

Disclaimer: Nothing on this website is or should be construed as legal or medical advice. Check your local and state laws before placing orders. Like other natural supplements, delta-8 products are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).