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March 18, 2024
3 min to read

Florida Bill Banning Delta 8 Sent to DeSantis

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Jim McDonald

Delta 8 and other hemp-derived THC variants could be outlawed in Florida soon if Governor Ron DeSantis signs a bill recently passed by the state legislature. If signed, the new law will take effect on Oct. 1, and Florida will become the 25th state to ban or restrict the sale of delta 8 THC.

The bill also bans hemp-derived cannabinoids HHC, delta 10 THC, THC-O, THCP, and THCV, and all synthetic cannabinoids. The proposed law sets allowable delta 9 THC limits for hemp-based products, and sets the minimum age to purchase hemp extracts to 21. It also prohibits products that could be confused with food items like snacks or candy, and bans hemp product packaging defined as “attractive to children.”

Both houses of the Florida legislature passed SB 1698 on March 6, on a mostly bipartisan basis. The governor has not indicated whether he will sign the delta 8 ban.

Supporters of the bill in the legislature mostly dismissed concerns voiced by delta 8 consumers that they would be forced to turn to the cannabis black market, according to the Florida Phoenix.

"Since the 2018 federal Farm Bill legalized production of hemp-based derivatives, the market for delta 8 and other hemp-derived cannabinoids has exploded."

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“That statement answers the question for you what these products are,” said State Representative Tommy Gregory. “They’re drugs. They’re recreational drugs. And yes, if we say if you can’t buy them, and you’re a drug user, then sure, maybe you’ll go to a drug dealer. Maybe you’ll do the right thing and stop using drugs.”

Delta 8 is a cannabinoid naturally found in cannabis plants—including both marijuana and hemp—but in concentrations too low to economically extract. Commercial delta 8 products are produced by converting legal hemp-derived CBD into delta 8. Since the 2018 federal Farm Bill legalized production of hemp-based derivatives, the market for delta 8 and other hemp-derived cannabinoids has exploded. Delta 8 and most other hemp-derived cannabinoids offer a milder high than marijuana-derived delta 9 THC.

A ban on hemp-derived cannabinoids would affect many Florida businesses, including hemp growers, manufacturers and distributors, vape shops, convenience stores, and gas stations. Florida is the third-most populous U.S. state.

The Florida Supreme Court is currently reviewing language in a proposed ballot initiative that would put recreational marijuana legalization to Florida voters this November. DeSantis has made clear that he is generally opposed to recreational legalization in Florida, although he concedes it is likely to happen. The court will decide on the ballot measure by April 1.

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Jim McDonald

Vaping since: 12 years

Favorite products:

Favorite flavors: RY4-style tobaccos, fruits

Expertise in: Political and legal challenges, tobacco control haters, moral panics

Jim McDonald

Smokers created vaping without help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and I believe vapers have the right to continue innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I’m a member of the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy

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