February 22, 2021 7 min read

Cannabis legality is tricky, especially when you break it down to a state level. That’s even more true when it comes to new cannabinoid products like Delta-8-THC where there’s even less information available. If you’re wondering “Is Delta-8-THC legal in Arizona?” we’re here to help.

According to Arizona state laws, Delta-8 may be more restricted in the state than in others. Here’s the gritty details of Delta-8-THC laws in Arizona:

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
Arizona Delta-8-THC Laws
Is Delta-8 a Controlled Substance in Arizona?
Delta-8-THC Possession Limits in Arizona
Is Delta-9-THC Legal in Arizona?
Where to Buy Delta-8 in Arizona
Do You Have to Be 21 to Buy Delta-8?
Is Delta-8 Legal in All 50 States?
Resources

Key Takeaways

  • Delta-8 is a cannabinoid derived from legal hemp, and is therefore legal according to federal legislation.
  • Arizona, however, classifies Cannabis and all tetrahydrocannabinols as a Schedule I substance. Therefore, Delta-8 is considered illegal by Arizona state law.
  • Arizona laws prohibit the sale of Delta-8 within the state, so Delta-8-THC is not easily accessible.
  • In legal areas, many people buy Delta-8-THC products made from hemp online.

Delta 8 THC and Federal Laws

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.

Hemp flower, the federally legal materials used to make Delta-8-THC products.

Arizona Delta 8 THC Laws

Arizona is one of the more hemp-friendly states in the country, and they impose a few regulations that help create a more advanced hemp market than most. The state passed legislation to legalize hemp shortly after the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into law.

This bill, SB 1098, aligns the state laws with the federal definition for industrial hemp. The state also has relaxed regulations on the ways that hemp can be used, including a variety of CBD preparations.

However, the states Controlled Substances legislation poses complications for Delta-8-THC. The bill reads that cannabis, as well as all salts, isomers, and preparations of THC, are considered Schedule I substances in the state. The only exception is “the synthetic isomer of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol,” which refers to dronabinol, a legal prescription pharmaceutical modeled after THC.

Here are some highlights from Arizona state legislation regarding hemp and Delta-8:

TITLE 3 AGRICULTURE. CH. 2, ART. 4.1 INDUSTRIAL HEMP

R3-4-1001. Definitions

In addition to the definitions provided in A.R.S. §§ 3-201, 3-311, and A.A.C. R3-4-101, the following terms apply to this article.

“0.300%” shall have the same meaning as three-tenths percent.

“Certified laboratory” means the State Agriculture Laboratory or any laboratory certified by the State Agriculture Laboratory to perform compliance analysis of industrial hemp.

“Hemp” has the same meaning as industrial hemp.

“Responsible party” means an individual that has signing authority of a partnership, limited liability company, association, company

or corporation.

“THC” means Tetrahydrocannabinol

“Total Delta-9 THC concentration” means the total calculable amount of the chemical compound, Delta-9 THC.

TITLE 3 AGRICULTURE. CH. 2, ART. 4.1 INDUSTRIAL HEMP

3-311. Definitions

In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Crop” means any industrial hemp that is grown under a single industrial hemp license issued by the department.
  2. “Hemp products” means all products made from industrial hemp, including cloth, cordage, fiber, fuel, grain, paint, paper, construction materials, plastics and by-products derived from sterile hemp seed or hemp seed oil. Hemp products excludes any product made to be ingested except food made from sterile hemp seed or hemp seed oil.
  3. “Hemp seed” means any viable cannabis sativa L. seed that produces an industrial hemp plant that is subject to this article and rules and orders adopted by the director pursuant to this article.
  4. “Industrial hemp” means the plant cannabis sativa L. and any part of such a plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than three-tenths percent on a dry weight basis.
  5. “Industrial hemp site” means the location in which a grower, harvester, transporter or processor possesses a crop, a harvested crop or hemp seed.

36-2501. Definitions

  1. In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
  2. “Cannabis” means the following substances under whatever names they may be designated:

(a) Marijuana.

(b) All parts of any plant of the genus cannabis, whether growing or not, its seeds, the resin extracted from any part of such plant, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such plant, its seeds or resin, but shall not include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake or the sterilized seed of such plant which is incapable of germination.

(c) Every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of such resin, tetrahydrocannabinol (T.H.C.), or of such plants from which the resin has not been extracted.

36-2512. Substances in Schedule I

  1. The following controlled substances, unless specifically excepted, are included in schedule I:

  1. Any material, compound, mixture or preparation that contains any quantity of the following hallucinogenic substances and their salts, isomers and salts of isomers, unless specifically excepted or unless listed in another schedule, whenever the existence of these salts, isomers and salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation (for the purposes of this paragraph, “isomer” includes the optical, position and geometric isomers):

(w) Cannabis, except the synthetic isomer of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.

Is Delta-8 a Controlled Substance in Arizona?

Arizona legislation does not directly mention Delta-8-THC, rather it is classified under “tetrahydrocannabinols.” Because cannabis and all preparations of THC are considered Schedule I Controlled Substances in Arizona (save for certain prescription varieties), Delta-8 is considered a Controlled Substance in Arizona.

Hemp and CBD are both legal in Arizona, but state law does not clarify that THC’s derived from hemp or CBD are legal, except for up to 0.3% Delta-9-THC.

Delta 8 THC Possession Limits in Arizona

Because Delta-8 is illegal in Arizona, there are no defined possession limits for the cannabinoid.

Is Cannabis (Delta 9 THC) Legal in Arizona?

Arizona held out on recreational cannabis use for quite some time, although medical cannabis has been available for qualifying patients in the state since 2010. Finally, in late 2020, Arizona passed Proposition 207 to legalize recreational cannabis for consumers over the age of 21.

In Arizona, residents can possess up to one ounce of cannabis (with up to five grams being concentrates) that is legally purchased from a state dispensary.

Arizona has previously had strict repercussions for illegal cannabis possession in the state. Possessing less than two pounds of cannabis is considered a Class 6 felony and is punishable by four months to two years in prison and a fine of up to $ 150,000.

Because recreational cannabis is newly legalized in Arizona, the Controlled Substances list is expected to be updated. Hopefully in the future Arizona will better clarify its stance on Delta-8-THC now that cannabis is legal across the state.

Where to Buy Delta 8 in Arizona?

Delta-8 vapes, one of the most popular products available online and in stores where Delta-8-THC is legal.

Delta-8-THC is illegal in Arizona and cannot be legally purchased in the state. Although Delta-8 may be circulating in some areas within the state, the products are not legal to buy, sell, or possess.

Arizona is in the midst of a varied hemp environment, where Delta-8 products may be legal in neighboring states like New Mexico and California, but equally restricted in Nevada.

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.

Is Delta 8 Legal in All 50 States?

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 Arizona according to state law, but you should read more about Delta-8 laws by state to determine the legality in other areas.

Resources

  1. “H.R.5485 - Hemp Farming Act of 2018” https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5485
  2. “Drug Fact Sheet: K2/Spice” https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/K2-spice-2020.pdf
  3. “MARINOL” https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2006/018651s025s026lbl.pdf
  4. “Possession of a Controlled Substance in Arizona” https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/criminal-defense/drug-charges/possession-controlled-substance-arizona
  5. “Arizona Administrative Register” https://apps.azsos.gov/public_services/register/2019/24/contents.pdf
  6. “ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES TITLE 3. AGRICULTURE; CHAPTER 2. REGULATORY PROVISIONS; ARTICLE 4.1. INDUSTRIAL HEMP” https://agriculture.az.gov/sites/default/files/Title3Ch2Art4-1.pdf
  7. “Title 36 - Public Health and Safety” https://www.azleg.gov/arsDetail/?title=36
  8. “PROPOSITION 207” https://azsos.gov/sites/default/files/FINAL_2020_APPROVED%20_BALLOT_LANGUAGE_%28English%29.pdf

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