A growing number of states have legalized medical marijuana, with each passing mid-term reducing the number of locations where the substance is prohibited. Moreover, we are fast approaching the point where a majority of states will legalize recreational weed. Ultimately, marijuana’s legal status is rather uncomplicated. It is federally outlawed but medically and/or recreationally legal in specific locations.
The rapid growth in the so-called ‘minor’ cannabinoid market resulted in confusion regarding the legality of products such as THC-O gummies, delta-8 tinctures, and HHC vaping devices. It was widely assumed that these substances were federally prohibited, like marijuana. However, a federal court ruling changed everything.
A Loophole, Then A Law
In late 2021, many online publications discussed the possibility that products such as THC-O gummies were technically legal due to a loophole in federal drug law. However, it was clear that sellers of such items were operating in a legal gray area and were taking a risk.
Fortunately, this opacity was removed in May 2022 when a California federal appeals court ruled that delta-8 THC was legal. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that products made with D8 are generally legal according to federal law. After all, federal law states that hemp is “any part of” the cannabis plant, including “all derivatives, extracts, [and] cannabinoids” that contain a maximum of 0.3% delta-9 THC by dry weight.
The court said that federal statute is silent when it comes to delta-8. Therefore, the court had no intention of interfering with the current policy.
To be clear, delta-8 is only federally legal when it comes from industrial hemp, defined as Cannabis sativa L. with a maximum D9 content of 0.3%. The federal court’s ruling effectively stated that other minor cannabinoids, such as THC-O and HHC, were also legal if hemp was used to create them.
Therefore, if you buy THC-O gummies from a brand that used industrial hemp to create the cannabinoid, you know that the product is technically federally legal.
Not So Fast!
Unfortunately, the legality of THC-O gummies and products containing other minor cannabinoids is not straightforward. A growing number of states have elected to ban or restrict the sale of products containing THC-O, delta-8, delta-10, HHC, THCP, and any other minor cannabinoid out there.
The legal landscape is changing rapidly as more states look to prohibit these cannabinoids. At present, THC-O is possibly prohibited in numerous states, including the following:
- New York
- Rhode Island
It is interesting to note that THC-O gummies could be outlawed in certain locations where recreational marijuana is legal!
Recreational weed sales began in New York in December 2022. However, the state restricted the sale of delta-8 and other minor cannabinoids some time ago. Indeed, the Empire State bans smokable CBD hemp flower.
Why Are States Outlawing Minor Cannabinoids?
It may seem odd that you can buy delta-9 THC gummies in a state but find that THC-O gummies are banned. However, safety is one of the main reasons why certain locations have taken the drastic step of prohibiting minor cannabinoids.
The minor cannabinoid market remains unregulated, and those who support outlawing these substances cite safety as their primary concern. They point toward studies investigating the quality of the products currently on the market. One report that investigated delta-8 products found that hardly any of them contained D8, for example!
Therefore, if you find THC-O gummies that are legal to buy in your state, please ensure you only use a reputable brand that includes third-party lab reports with the products. Many highly respected CBD sellers have gotten involved in the THC-O market, and it is best to use one of these brands.
Final Thoughts on the Legality of THC-O Gummies
According to a federal court ruling, THC-O gummies are legal. However, several states have elected to ban the sale of THC-O and other minor cannabinoids, such as HHC, due to safety fears.
If you buy THC-O gummies, please note that the cannabinoid is about three times as potent as delta-9 THC. Therefore, begin by using a tiny amount of the compound to gauge its effects. Also, remember that it can take anywhere from 30 to 120 minutes before you’ll notice the intoxicating high taking hold.