February 16, 2021 7 min read

Hemp laws vary all over the country, and that includes laws concerning an up-and-coming cannabinoid, Delta-8-THC. Is Delta-8-THC legal in Hawaii? And if so, where can you find it?

Yes! Hawaii laws protect hemp material grown by a licensed grower, including all cannabinoids and tetrahydrocannabinols derived from hemp.

Before you buy Delta-8 in Hawaii, here’s what you should know about Hawaii Delta-8 laws:

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
Hawaii Delta-8-THC Laws
Is Delta-8 a Controlled Substance in Hawaii?
Delta-8-THC Possession Limits in Hawaii
Is Delta-9-THC Legal in Hawaii?
Where to Buy Delta-8 in Hawaii
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.
  • Hawaii has also updated legislation to define hemp separately from marijuana and to remove hemp-derived cannabinoids from the state’s Controlled Substances Act. This effectively legalized Delta-8-THC from hemp in Hawaii.
  • To ensure that the Delta-8 you purchase is legal, you have to ensure that it is made from legal hemp by a licensed grower.
  • You generally need to be at least 21 years old to purchase Delta-8-THC products made from hemp. You can find it at a limited number of stores in Hawaii, but you can also buy legal Delta-8 online and have it shipped directly to your door.

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.

 

A hemp plant, the primary source of legal Delta-8 products, in full bloom.

Hawaii Delta 8 THC Laws

Hawaii has stricter CBD laws than most (especially compared to states like Illinois, New York, or Ohio where the hemp and Delta-8 market is virtually a free-for-all), but that doesn’t apply to hemp laws as a whole. The state of Hawaii has fully legalized hemp. With the passage of HB 2689, Hawaii officially defined hemp according to the federal definition.

The bill also serves to clarify a precise difference in “hemp” and “marijuana,” and amend state laws concerning “tetrahydrocannabinols” to exclude hemp derived cannabinoids. This effectively removed hemp derived cannabinoids from the state’s Controlled Substances Act.

Here are some snippets from the legal text:

HAWAII HOUSE BILL NO. 2689

SECTION 1.

(9) Amending definitions of “marijuana” in state law to clarify that hemp grown by a licensee is not marijuana and amending references to tetrahydrocannabinols in the state law to exclude tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp;

  • 141-A Definitions.

“Industrial hemp” means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

SECTION 14.Section 329-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows

  1. By adding a new definition to be appropriately inserted and to read:

“Hemp” means all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis, as measured post-decarboxylation or by other similarly reliable methods.

  1. By amending the definition of “marijuana” to read:

“Marijuana” means all parts of the plant (genus) Cannabis whether growing or not; the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or resin. [It]

“Marijuana” does not include [the]:

(4) A product containing or derived from hemp, including any product containing one or more hemp-derived cannabinoids such as cannabidiol, that:

(A) Does not include any living hemp plants, viable seeds, leaf materials, or floral materials; and

(B) Has a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 per cent on a dry weight basis, as measured post-decarboxylation or by other similarly reliable methods.

SECTION 15. Section 329-14, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (g) to read as follows:

(g) Any of the following cannabinoids, their salts, isomers, and salts of isomers, unless specifically excepted, whenever the existence of these salts, isomers, and salts of isomers is possible within the specific chemical designation:

(1) Tetrahydrocannabinols; meaning tetrahydrocannabinols naturally contained in a plant of the genus Cannabis (cannabis plant), as well as synthetic equivalents of the substances contained in the plant, or in the resinous extractives of Cannabis, sp. or synthetic substances, derivatives, and their isomers with similar chemical structure and pharmacological activity to those substances contained in the plant, such as the following: Delta 1 cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol, and their optical isomers; Delta 6 cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol, and their optical isomers; and Delta 3,4 cis or trans-tetrahydrocannabinol, and its optical isomers (since nomenclature of these substances is not internationally standardized, compounds of these structures, regardless of numerical designation of atomic positions, are covered); provided that tetrahydrocannabinols under this subsection shall exclude tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp;

Is Delta-8 a Controlled Substance in Hawaii?

Hawaii updated state legislation to clarify that “tetrahydrocannabinols from hemp” are separated from other forms of tetrahydrocannabinols, like those found in marijuana.
They specifically added to the clause about tetrahydrocannabinols in the Controlled Substances Act the following phrase: “provided that tetrahydrocannabinols under this subsection shall exclude tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp.”

In other words, Delta-8-THC derived from hemp is specifically excepted from the state’s Controlled Substances list. Hemp-derived Delta-8-is not a controlled substance in Hawaii.

Delta 8 THC Possession Limits in Hawaii

The state of Hawaii imposes no possession limits on hemp or hemp material, including Delta-8-THC.

Is Cannabis (Delta 9 THC) Legal in Hawaii?

Hawaii became the first U.S. state to legalize cannabis for medicinal use with the passage of Act 228 in 2000. Qualifying patients can access medical marijuana on a limited basis. Recreational cannabis is still illegal in the state, although possession of up to 3 grams has been decriminalized.

Delta-9-THC and marijuana are both considered Controlled Substances in the state of Hawaii. Larger amounts (up to one pound) may be punishable by misdemeanor, with fines ranging from $100-$2,000 and jail time of up to one year.

Where to Buy Delta 8 in Hawaii?

A selection of Delta-8 vape pens that are available online and in stores where Delta-8 is legal.

According to state hemp laws, legal hemp products can be sold in the state so long as it is produced by a licensed grower and in accordance with the state’s USDA hemp plan. That means you’re in luck if you’re looking to buy Delta-8-THC in Hawaii.

Still, it’s advisable to proceed with caution when choosing a Delta-8 distributor. While you can likely find various hemp products in local stores, there may be benefits to buying Delta-8 online. One reason is that you can 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 before you buy, or you can read our “What is Delta-8-THC?” guide to learn everything you need to know.

Do You Have to Be 21 to Buy Delta-8 in Hawaii?

There are no state regulations that place age restriction on the purchase of hemp-derived products. Retailers have the right to determine age limits for the purchase of Delta-8 products, but many retailers require consumers to be at least 21 years of age.

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 legal in Hawaii 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. “HB 2689” https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2020/bills/HB2689_HD1_.HTM
  5. “ACT 228” https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2000/acts/Act228_SB862_HD1_.htm
  6. “Hawaii Marijuana Laws” https://statelaws.findlaw.com/hawaii-law/hawaii-marijuana-laws.html

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