Like with all cannabis, hemp, and CBD products, the legality surrounding Delta-8-THC isn’t so clear, especially at the state level. Even in places where recreational cannabis is legal, people are looking for clarification on the up and coming cannabinoid. So, is Delta-8-THC legal in Alaska?
Unfortunately, Delta-8-THC may not be as accessible in Alaska as in other states, and possession of the cannabinoid could be a serious offense.
Here’s how Alaska Delta-8 laws break down:
Disclaimer: We’re always working to stay informed on the latest Delta-8 laws and research. However, state laws are subject to change and we advise that you do your own research to verify the information you find in this article. This is not intended as legal advice.
Table of Contents
Delta-8-THC and Federal Laws
Alaska Delta-8-THC Laws
Is Delta-8 a Controlled Substance in Alaska?
Delta-8-THC Possession Limits in Alaska
Is Delta-9-THC Legal in Alaska?
Where to Buy Delta-8 in Alaska
Is Delta-8 Legal in All 50 States?
Delta 8's federal status is confusing at first glance. Technically, Delta-8-THC has been listed as a Schedule I substance alongside Delta-9-THC for well over a decade.
More recently, however, the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was signed into law. Under this legislation, hemp containing less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC became legal, as did any cannabinoids, extracts, or isomers derived from the legal hemp material.
In fact, Section 12619b of the 2018 Hemp Farming Act specifically addresses tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp. By extension of this new law, Delta-8-THC was legal, or so it seemed.
Here's the catch:
Most of the legal Delta-8 products on the market are made by "synthesizing" CBD. While federal hemp legislation currently allows the production and sale of naturally derived cannabinoids, it specifically prohibits all synthesized cannabinoids.
So where does this put Delta-8-THC, considering it is both a naturally occurring cannabinoid and can be synthesized from legal CBD?
To understand, you need to take a look at the method used to turn CBD into Delta 8, which is vastly different from the complex process that is generally used to create synthetic cannabinoids.
The conversion process between CBD and Delta 8 relies on a transfer of isomers, a process called isomerization, between the two cannabinoids. This means that Delta-8-THC technically exists as a hemp "isomer," which is covered by hemp's legal definition according to the 2018 law.
In other words, Delta-8 is made from hemp and considered to be a naturally occurring part of the hemp plant.
The types of cannabinoids that the DEA typically carve out as “synthetic” are liquid agents that are frequently applied to plant material, like K2 and Spice. Legal forms of synthetic cannabinoids, such as Marinol, also exist as prescription pharmaceuticals. Unlike Delta-8-THC, these substances are purely synthetic and made in a lab without the use of plant material.
Of course, laws regarding cannabinoids are still subject to change as hemp regulations are ironed out by both the DEA and FDA. For now, Delta 8 maintains a federally legal status, but state laws still may pose limitations on Delta-8-THC access.
Like many other states, Alaska did update legislation after the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law in order to legalize hemp production in the state. However, the state still has limitations on CBD products, and an even harsher prohibition on certain classes of tetrahydrocannabinols.
While high-THC cannabis can be legally purchased for medical and recreational use by those over the age of 21, other classes of tetrahydrocannabinols, and specifically their isomers, are considered Schedule IIA substances.
The penalty for possession of a Schedule IIIA substance can be either a misdemeanor or a Class C Felony depending on the amount possessed.
Here are some highlights from the relevant text:
Relating to the regulation and production of industrial hemp; relating to industrial hemp pilot programs; providing that industrial hemp is not included in the definition of “marijuana”; providing that cannabidiol oil is not included in the definition of “hashish oil”; clarifying that adding industrial hemp to food does not create an adulterated food product; and providing for an effective date.
Sec. 5. AS 03.05.100 is amended by adding a new paragraph to read:
(5) “industrial hemp” means all parts and varieties of the plant Cannabis sativa L. containing not more than 0.3 percent delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol.
Sec. 7. AS 11.71.900 is amended to read:
(14) “marijuana” means the seeds, and leaves, buds, and flowers of the plant (genus) Cannabis, whether growing or not; it does not include the resin or oil extracted from any part of the plants, or any compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation from the resin or oil, including hashish, hashish oil, and natural or synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol; it does not include the stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the stalks, fiber, oil or cake, or the sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination; it does not include industrial hemp as defined in AS 03.05.100;
ARTICLE 1. OFFENSES RELATING TO CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES. CHAPTER 71. CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES.
(a) A substance shall be placed in schedule IIIA if it is found under AS 11.71.120(c) to have a degree of danger or probable danger to a person or the public less than the substances listed in schedule IIA but higher than substances listed in schedule IVA.
(f) Schedule IIIA includes, unless specifically excepted or unless listed in another schedule, any material, compound, mixture, or preparation that contains any quantity of the following substances or that contains any of its salts, isomers, whether optical, position, or geometric, or salts of isomers whenever the existence of those salts, isomers, or salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation:
To further clarify, Alaska outlines tetrahydrocannabinols and all salts, isomers, and other preparations of tetrahydrocannabinols as Schedule IIIA Controlled Substances. The text excludes any preparations that are specifically excluded by other legislation held by the state.
Unfortunately, hemp applications, especially those concerning CBD, are still incredibly restricted in the state. Since the state legislation fails to specifically legalize Delta-8 or the means by which it is produced, Delta-8-THC is illegal and possession is punishable by law.
Because Delta-8 is illegal in Alaska, there are no defined possession limits for the cannabinoid.
Alaska passed Measure 2 in 2014 and officially became the third U.S. state to legalize recreational cannabis. Both recreational and medicinal cannabis are available in state-licensed dispensaries and are subject to specific rules and possession limits.
Because of the state’s open-minded minded approach to cannabis, it’s safe to assume that legislation will eventually be updated to legalize hemp (and hopefully Delta-8), but the state has given no indication of when they intend to revisit the issue.
Delta-8-THC is illegal in Alaska and cannot be legally purchased in the state. Some people have reported that Delta-8 can infrequently be found in state-licensed dispensaries, but the legality of these products is unclear.
In places where Delta-8-THC is legal, many people prefer to shop online. It's advisable to proceed with caution when choosing a Delta-8 distributor. Shopping online allows you to buy directly from a brand or manufacturer, instead of purchasing through a third-party vendor that may not fully understand Delta-8 effects and uses or the laws surrounding Delta-8 products.
At Bloom Society, our Delta-8-THC products comply with all parameters of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. We can also help answer questions about Delta-8, or you can read our “What is Delta-8-THC?” guide to learn everything you need to know.
Delta-8-THC is currently federally legal under the context of the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, but each state has the right to determine their own stance on tetrahydrocannabinols derived from hemp. Delta-8-THC is illegal in Alaska according to state law, but you should read more about Delta-8 laws by state to determine the legality in other areas.
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