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The Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division does not want Delta-8 THC to enter pharmacies, and on May 14, it announced to marijuana business owners that modified or synthetic versions of THC made from industrial hemp are not allowed in stores in that state.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) occurs in several different isomers: molecular compounds with the same number of atoms of certain elements, but different arrangements of these atoms. The isomer that marijuana plants naturally produce in large quantities is Delta-9 THC, which is banned by the federal government. However, chemists have discovered other forms of THC that are chemically different yet have similar intoxicating effects, such as Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC.
Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC are not specifically prohibited by the Controlled Substances Act and can be made with industrial hemp, a plant that is now legally grown at the federal level. This is done by extracting cannabidiol from industrial hemp and then converting the CBD into the “new” forms of THC with acetic acid. Although these products still feature drug testing, the loophole allowed a new, growing gray market online and in certain independent retail stores such as smoke shops and gas stations that are not regulated by the MED.
Delta-8 and Delta-10 products are consumed in concentrated and edible forms, with vaping being the most popular consumption method. There are also companies that offer to cover CBD flowers with Delta-8 extract, essentially turning the hemp nug into a rocket ship to the moon. Users report that Delta-8 brings a similar high as Delta-9, but at a lower level, while Delta-10 supposedly makes users more focused and energetic.
“I have a feeling it will have a short lifespan,” said former pharmacy owner and current CBD entrepreneur David Threlfall in a Westword interview about Delta-8 earlier this month. “Let’s face it, you can go high with Delta-8, so it’s only a matter of time before you start regulating it [the federal government] figure it out. “
The Drug Enforcement Administration has yet to crack down on Delta-8 or Delta-10 sectors, and Threlfall admits it was a lucrative market but ultimately warned against laying eggs in such a shaky basket. “I don’t want to spend the time and effort on it and then let something happen. You won’t be able to ship this across state lines like CBD,” he said.
None of these hemp-derived Delta-8 companies or products exist in a regulated market, and the MED does not want government pharmacies to be involved in their offerings. On May 14, she sent a letter to stakeholders in the Colorado cannabis business advising them that it is illegal to sell products containing THC chemically modified or synthetically derived from hemp.
The MED letter also indicated that butane, propane, CO2, ethanol, isopropanol, acetone, heptane, ethyl acetate and pentane are the only solvents allowed during marijuana extraction and that “acids, bases, catalysts or other unapproved reagents are used for the extraction “. Isolating or converting cannabidiols, tetrahydrocannabinols or other cannabinoids is not permitted. “
Pharmacies can sell products containing CBD and other cannabinoids extracted from hemp, as long as they are not chemically modified, as well as Delta-8 and Delta-10 products made from approved marijuana plants registered with the MED.
Here is the letter from the MED:
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Thomas Mitchell has been writing about everything cannabis-related for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate, and general news en route to publications like the Republic of Arizona, Inman, and Fox Sports. He is currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.