Thankfully, Massachusetts hemp laws clearly state that hemp isomers, like Delta-8, are legal in the state. They also declare the difference between “tetrahydrocannabinols” in the Controlled Substances Act and those found in hemp.
Massachusetts Delta-8-THC laws are as follows:
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
Massachusetts Delta-8-THC Laws
Is Delta-8 a Controlled Substance in Massachusetts?
Delta-8-THC Possession Limits in Massachusetts
Is Delta-9-THC Legal in Massachusetts?
Where to Buy Delta-8 in Massachusetts
Do You Have to Be 21 to Buy Delta-8?
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.
Massachusetts passed several amendments to the state’s laws after the 2018 Farm bill became federal law. In addition to legalizing hemp and CBD, the state also aligned it’s legislation with the federal definition for hemp. That means that hemp, or Cannabis Sativa material with less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC by dry weight, and all of its cannabinoids, isomers, salts, salts of isomers, and other derivatives are legal in the state.
To further clarify the new hemp rules, Massachusetts specified that “tetrahydrocannabinol,” where they are addressed by state law, does not include THC derived from hemp. This is similar to the laws used by neighboring states where Delta-8 is legal, like Connecticut and New York.
Thanks to this careful collection of new laws, Delta-8-THC is legal and accessible in the state of Massachusetts.
Here are some highlights from Massachusetts state law:
“Cannabidiol” or “CBD”, the compound by the same name derived from the hemp variety of the Cannabis sativa L. plant.
“Hemp”, 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 the federally defined THC level for hemp. Hemp shall be considered an agricultural commodity.
Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018
Effective Date: 10/31/2019
“hemp” means the plant species 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.
“Hemp Products”, all products with the federally defined THC level for hemp derived from, or made by, processing hemp plants or plant parts, that are prepared in a form available for commercial sale, including, but not limited to cosmetics, personal care products, food intended for animal or human consumption, cloth, cordage, fiber, fuel, paint, paper, particleboard, plastics, and any product containing one or more hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol.
“Industrial Hemp”, the equivalent in all meanings to hemp, as defined in this section.
“Tetrahydrocannabinol” or “THC”, notwithstanding any other provision of the law, the THC that is found in hemp shall not be considered to be THC in qualifying as a controlled substance.
The department may inspect and have access to the equipment, supplies, records, real property and other information deemed necessary to carry out the department’s duties under sections 116 to 123, inclusive, from a person participating in the planting, growing, harvesting, possessing, processing, purchasing or researching of hemp, industrial hemp. The department may establish an inspection and testing program to determine delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol levels and ensure compliance with the limits on delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration.
(a). Hemp-derived cannabinoids, including CBD, are not considered controlled substances or adulterants.
(b) Products containing one or more hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as CBD, intended for ingestion are to be considered foods, not controlled substances or adulterated products.
(c) Retail sales of hemp products may be conducted when the products and the hemp used in the products were grown and cultivated legally in another state or jurisdiction and meet the same or substantially the same requirements for processing hemp products or growing hemp under the State Hemp Program.
In Section 122 (a) of the state’s Agricultural Improvement Act, the legislation specifically declares that “hemp-derived cannabinoids, including CBD, are not considered controlled substances or adulterants.” The state’s legislation also states that “THC that is found in hemp shall not be considered to be THC in qualifying as a controlled substance.”
Thanks to this phrasing, Delta-8-THC derived from hemp is protected in Massachusetts and is not considered a Controlled Substance in the state.
The state of Massachusetts does not have any possession limits in place for hemp-derived products, including Delta-8-THC.
Still, Delta-8 could be easily confused for Delta-9 THC by authorities without proper documentation and lab testing.
Basic lab testing checks only for tetrahydrocannabinol, meaning that extensive lab tests are needed to differentiate between Delta-8 content and Delta-9 content when proof of legal possession is needed.
In 2012, Massachusetts voters passed Question 3 by popular vote, an act which established the state’s medical marijuana program. Later in 2016, the state also passed Question 4 by popular vote, an act that began the legalization process for adult use of cannabis in Massachusetts.
Now, cannabis is accessible to qualifying medical patients for medicinal use and to adults 21 and older for recreational use. Massachusetts has some cannabis regulations in place, and cannabis possession of over 1 ounce is not allowed outside of your home.
According to state hemp laws, legal hemp products can be sold in the state so long as it is produced in accordance with the state’s hemp plan. If you’re looking to buy Delta-8-THC in Massachusetts, you may be in luck!
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.
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.
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 Massachusetts 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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