The legal status of hemp and cannabis products vary greatly by state, which can make it difficult to find reliable information regarding the legal status of Delta-8. If you’re looking to experience the mildly psychoactive cannabinoid for yourself, you may be wondering “Is Delta-8-THC legal in Arkansas?”
Unfortunately, no. Arkansas restricts almost all forms of THC. The only exception is for certain medicinal preparations available by prescription or with a qualifying medical cannabis card.
That means that Delta-8 may not be legal and accessible in Arkansas, but a look at the official Arkansas Delta-8 laws can help you better understand the state's hemp climate.
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.
Arkansas Delta-8-THC Laws
Is Delta-8 a Controlled Substance in Arkansas?
Delta-8-THC Possession Limits in Arkansas
Is Delta-9-THC Legal in Arkansas?
Where to Buy Delta-8 in Arkansas
Is Delta-8 Legal in All 50 States?
Arkansas is home to a budding medical cannabis program and the state has legalized many different hemp preparations, including various CBD products. This legislation is similar to that of many hemp-friendly states in that it aligns Arkansas law with federal definitions. Hemp is any cannabis plant containing no more than 0.3% Delta-9-THC on a dry weight basis, including its naturally derived cannabinoids.
However, state legislation explicitly carves out several instances in which hemp cannabinoids, specifically tetrahydrocannabinols, are not legal.
The Controlled Substances list in the state clearly reads that any cannabis or THC material that is created "independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis" is considered to be a schedule VI Controlled Substance.
Here are some snippets from the original text:
(5) “Cannabis” means all parts of the cannabis plant, whether growing or not, including its seeds, resin, compounds, salts, derivatives, and extracts. Cannabis does not include publicly marketable hemp products, as defined in this regulation.
(6) “CBD” means cannabidiol.
(9) “Delta-9-THC” means delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration (the primary intoxicating component of cannabis).
(13) “Industrial hemp” means all parts and varieties of the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant cultivated or possessed by a licensed grower, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. (Adopted by federal law in the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S. C. & 801 et seq. “Industrial hemp” has the same meaning as in 7 U.S.C. sec. 5940 as it currently exists or as it may be subsequently amended;
7 U.S. Code § 5940.Legitimacy of industrial hemp research
(2) Industrial hemp
The term “industrial hemp” means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.
(23) “Phytocannabinoids” are cannabinoids that occur naturally in the cannabis plant. The classical cannabinoids are formed through decarboxylation of their respective 2-carboxylic acids (2-COOH), a process which is catalyzed by heat, light or alkaline conditions.
SECTION 1. Arkansas Code § 5-64-215 is amended to read as follows: 23 5-64-215. Substances in Schedule VI.
(a) In addition to any substance placed in Schedule VI by the Director of the Department of Health under § 5-64-214, any material, compound, mixture, or preparation, whether produced directly or indirectly from a substance of vegetable origin or independently by means of chemical synthesis, or by a combination of extraction and chemical synthesis, that contains any quantity of the following substances, or that contains any of their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers when the existence of the salts, isomers, and salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation, is included in Schedule VI:
(3) A synthetic equivalent of:
(A) The substance contained in the Cannabis plant; or
(B) The substance contained in the resinous extractives of
the genus Cannabis;
(5) Synthetic substances, derivatives, or their isomers in the chemical structural classes described below in subdivisions (a)(5)(A)-(J) of this section and also specific unclassified substances in subdivision (a)(5)(K) of this section. Compounds of the structures described in this subdivision (a)(5), regardless of numerical designation of atomic positions, are included in this subdivision (a)(5). The synthetic substances, derivatives, or their isomers included in this subdivision (a)(5) are:
(A)(i) Tetrahydrocannabinols, including without limitation the following:
(a) Delta-1 cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol, and its optical isomers;
(b) Delta-6 cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol, and its optical isomers; and
(c) Delta-3.4 cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol, and its optical isomers.
To further clarify, the state classifies all preparations of THC, including those derived by a combination of extraction and synthetization, as Schedule VI Controlled Substances. By this definition, Delta-8 will be classified as a controlled substance until Arkansas law changes to specifically legalize this cannabinoid or cannabinoid isomers derived from legal CBD.
Because Delta-8 is currently illegal in Arkansas, there are no possession limits in place.
Arkansas passed Issue 6 on November 8, 2016, officially opening the medical cannabis market in the state. Therefore, cannabis is currently only legal for qualifying medical consumers in Arkansas.
Recreational cannabis remains illegal in Arkansas, but the several areas in the state have voted to make anti-cannabis law enforcement a low priority.
Still, possession of less than 4 ounces of cannabis (or the concentrated equivalent) could be punishable by misdemeanor charges and up to one year in jail. Multiple offenses or possession of more than 4 ounces is to be charged with a felony and can result in a prison sentence of up to 6 years and fines of up to $10,000.
Delta-8-THC is illegal in Arkansas 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. It is unclear if Delta-8 is accessible under the state’s medicinal marijuana program.
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 Vida Optima, 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 Arkansas 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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