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January 11, 2023
Delta 8

Is Delta-8 Legal in South Carolina?

Under both federal law and South Carolina state law, delta-8 THC derived from industrial hemp is legal in South Carolina. This means it is legal to buy, use, possess, distribute, sell, and produce hemp-derived delta-8 THC products without penalty.

This is because South Carolina state laws fall in line with the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act (also called the 2018 Farm Bill). This legalized hemp and hemp-derived compounds nationwide.

So the short answer to the question: is delta-8 legal in South Carolina?

  • Delta-8 produced from hemp with under 0.3% delta-9 THC is legal to buy, use, possess, distribute, sell, and produce under South Carolina state law as well as federal law
  • Higher THC levels are considered derived from marijuana and illegal
  • CBD and delta-10 THC are also legal in South Carolina
  • Recreational and medical cannabis remain illegal in South Carolina
  • It is legal to buy delta-8 hemp products online and in person at retail stores
  • You can travel with delta-8 in South Carolina

However, there’s a much longer answer. But first of all:

What is delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 is one of many cannabinoids that cannabis plants produce in nature. The classification as marijuana or hemp is a legal distinction based on the amount of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) present. Delta-8 THC is an isomer of delta-9 THC, and although both are psychoactive, delta-8 THC is milder and less intoxicating with fewer of the classic THC side effects.

Delta-8 THC can be found in various products, such as vape cartridges, tinctures, distillates, edibles, oils, and flower, depending on where you are.

Where is delta-8 THC legal?

Delta-8 is in a legal gray area—including in South Carolina. The 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act Farm Bill legalized all hemp-derived cannabinoids and delta-8 THC products within its limits, which we’ll discuss below. The law removed delta-8 THC, THCV, THCA, THC-O, and all other hemp-derived tetrahydrocannabinols from the list of controlled substances. It retained delta-9 THC on the list.

The state version is South Carolina House Bill 3449, enacted in 2019. This law made all hemp derivatives, cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinols, flavonoids, isomers, terpenes, and salts legal in South Carolina and removed them from the list of controlled substances. This means hemp-derived delta-8 THC products are legal.

Hemp is defined under these laws to include any part of the Cannabis sativa plant, including acids, seeds, cannabinoids, derivatives, extracts, isomers, and salts, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

However, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) maintains that D8 is a controlled substance. In 2020, the DEA issued a controversial Interim Final Rule (IFR), ostensibly to better align the Farm Bill with the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). In this final rule the DEA emphasized that any tetrahydrocannabinols that are synthetically-derived remain on the list of schedule I controlled substances.

Now this has reshaped the debate, because although delta-8 THC occurs in nature, to have enough of it to make products, it must be converted in a laboratory using a structural isomerization process, usually from cannabidiol (CBD). Although this means it’s still coming right from a hemp plant, this isomerization process is the basis for the DEA‘s argument about delta-8 being a synthetic substance.

The Federal Analog Act, a section within the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), was created in the 1980s to fight synthetic “designer drugs”. The DEA takes the position that delta-8 is chemically similar enough to the federally illegal delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to be considered its analog, and therefore a controlled substance.

Currently, 21 US states have restricted, regulated, or forbidden delta-8 THC in some way, and South Carolina is one of them. Attorney General Alan Wilson of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has opined that hemp plants within the federal 0.3% THC limit and delta-8 products derived from them are illegal everywhere in the state. His idea is that the Hemp Farming Act only makes an exception under federal law for delta-9 THC. This semi-authoritative comment on the local legality of delta-8 in South Carolina has not not officially prohibited it, however.

In some localities, delta-8 products might be regulated. For example, the Columbia City Council enacted Ordinance No. 2022-082 in 2022 requiring people and businesses selling cannabis products to post clear and conspicuous signs on or near cannabis products about possibly failing drug screening tests, and how big the signs must be.

Are medical and recreational marijuana legal in South Carolina?

No. Neither recreational marijuana nor medical marijuana are legal in South Carolina. Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor (first offense) and is punishable by up to 30 days to 6 months in prison, alongside a $200 fine. Subsequent offenses can lead to jail time.

South Carolina attempted to legalize medical cannabis with Senate Bill 150, also called the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act. Later found unconstitutional, the law would have allowed medical marijuana from dispensaries for people with debilitating medical conditions. Meanwhile, since 2014, Senate Bill 1035, also called Julian’s Law, has made low-THC, high-CBD oils legal when prescribed by a licensed physician for severe epilepsy.

What type of delta-8 is legal in South Carolina?

Delta-8 products are legal in South Carolina provided they’re derived from hemp plants carrying no more than 0.3% THC. Delta-8 that is derived from marijuana with over 0.3% THC in dry weight is a controlled substance and illegal under state and federal law.

Can you travel to South Carolina with delta-8?

Yes. You can travel to South Carolina with hemp-derived delta-8 products in your possession. State and federal law allow cross-border travel of hemp-derived compounds, including delta-8.

If you’re traveling outside South Carolina, check to be sure your destination allows delta-8 THC products. Right now 18 states—none of them bordering SC—regulate or prohibit delta-8.

Is CBD legal in South Carolina?

Yes. It is legal to buy, possess, use, distribute, sell, and produce cannabidiol (CBD) and CBD products like CBD oils in the state of South Carolina. Legal CBD must be sourced from hemp plants that have less than the legal limit of 0.3% THC by dry weight.

For now, the legality of delta-8 THC in South Carolina should remain the same, unless a big change comes down federally.

Buying delta-8 THC in South Carolina

Since delta-8 is legal at the state and federal levels, it’s pretty easy to buy delta-8 THC products in person and online and through licensed retail stores like vape shops and smoke shops. Most retail shops selling delta-8 are in cities like Columbia, Charleston, and Myrtle Beach, with most stocking the basics like delta-8  gummies, vapes, and distillates.

But there are lots of reasons to buy online and have your delta-8 THC products shipped right to you in South Carolina. When you buy delta 8 THC products online, you have more choice and control over what you get. You can buy the most popular and potent edibles online, including delta-8 gummies in the tastiest flavors.

And most importantly, you can trust the quality when you can see lab tests and other proof right in front of you. You can get that from high-end online vendors, but not from convenience stores and gas stations.

Final thoughts on buying delta-8 in South Carolina

Fortunately, the easiest way to buy delta-8 products in South Carolina is also the best way! By shopping for delta 8 online, you get the optimal selection, the best quality, and the security of knowing exactly what product you’re getting, every time. Gas and Go isn’t ready for THC!