The federal government legalized hemp and all hemp derivatives, like Delta-8-THC, under the updates to the 2018 Farm Bill. That means Delta-8 is legal on a federal scale, but is Delta-8-THC legal in Rhode Island?
Unfortunately, Rhode Island classifies all tetrahydrocannabinols and THC isomers as Schedule I Controlled Substances. Hemp is exempt in some cases, but not when intended for human consumption. That means Delta-8 is illegal in Rhode Island.
Until things change, Delta-8-THC may not be accessible in the state.
Here are some highlights from Rhode Island’s 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
Rhode Island Delta-8-THC Laws
Is Delta-8 a Controlled Substance in Rhode Island?
Delta-8-THC Possession Limits in Rhode Island
Is Delta-9-THC Legal in Rhode Island?
Where to Buy Delta-8 in Rhode Island
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.
Rhode Island has updated hemp laws to legalize CBD and other hemp extracts and derivatives. However, the state has made extensive amendments to the Controlled Substances list that prohibit the manufacture and sale of Delta-8-THC.
While certain forms of hemp are specifically exempt from scheduling under the Controlled Substances Act, the law prohibits any product that contains any amount of THC that is intended for human or animal consumption. Any product that effectively delivers any form of THC to the body is prohibited.
Here are some highlights from the relevant text:
(2) “Cannabis” means all parts of the plant of the genus marijuana, also known as marijuana sativa L, 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 regardless of cannabinoid content or cannabinoid potency including “marijuana” and “industrial hemp” or “industrial hemp products” which satisfy the requirements of this chapter.
(3) “Cannabidiol” or “CBD” means cannabidiol (CBD) derived from a hemp plant as defined in §2-26-3(8), not including products derived from exempt cannabis plant material as defined in 21 C.F.R. §1308.35.
(8) “Hemp” or “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 or per volume basis regardless of moisture content, and which satisfies the requirements of this chapter.
(9) “Hemp-derived consumable CBD product” means any product meant for ingestion, including but not limited to concentrates, extracts, and cannabis-infused foods and products, which contains cannabidiol derived from a hemp plant as defined in § 2-26-3(8), which shall only be sold to persons age twenty-one (21) or older, and which shall not include products derived from exempt cannabis plant material as defined in 21 C.F.R. §1308.35.
(10) “Hemp products” or “industrial hemp products” means all products made from the plants, including, but not limited to, concentrated oil, cloth, cordage, fiber, food, fuel, hemp-derived consumable CBD products, paint, paper, construction materials, plastics, seed, seed meal, seed oil, and seed certified for cultivation., which satisfy the requirements of this chapter.
(13) “THC” means tetrahydrocannabinol, the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis.
SECTION 3.Section 21-28-1.02 of Chapter 21-28 of the General Laws entitled “Uniform Controlled Substances Act” is hereby amended as follows:
(30) “Marijuana” means all parts of the plant cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds of the plant; 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, but shall not include the mature 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 mature stalks, (except the resin extracted from it), fiber, oil or cake, or the sterilized seed from the plant which is incapable of germination. Marijuana shall not include “industrial hemp” or” industrial hemp products” which satisfy the requirements of chapter 2-26 of the general laws and the regulations promulgated thereunder.
(d) Hallucinogenic substances.
Meaning tetrahydrocannabinols naturally contained in a plant of the genus Cannabis (cannabis plant), as well as synthetic equivalents of the substances contained in the cannabis plant, or in the resinous extractives of such plant, and/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:
1 cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol, and their optical isomers
6 cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol, and their optical isomers
3,4 cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol, and its optical isomers
Exemption of certain cannabis plant material, and products made therefrom, that contain tetrahydrocannabinols.
(a) Any processed plant material or animal feed mixture containing any amount of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) that is both:
(1) Made from any portion of a plant of the genus Cannabis excluded from the definition of marijuana under the Act [i.e., 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] and
(2) Not used, or intended for use, for human consumption, has been exempted by the Administrator from the application of the Act and this chapter.
(b) As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings specified:
(1) The term processed plant material means cannabis plant material that has been subject to industrial processes, or mixed with other ingredients, such that it cannot readily be converted into any form that can be used for human consumption.
(2) The term animal feed mixture means sterilized cannabis seeds mixed with other ingredients (not derived from the cannabis plant) in a formulation that is designed, marketed, and distributed for animal consumption (and not for human consumption).
(3) The term used for human consumption means either:
(i) Ingested orally or (ii) Applied by any means such that THC enters the human body.
(4) The term intended for use for human consumption means any of the following:
(i) Designed by the manufacturer for human consumption; (ii) Marketed for human consumption; or (iii) Distributed, exported, or imported, with the intent that it be used for human consumption.
(c) In any proceeding arising under the Act or this chapter, the burden of going forward with the evidence that a material, compound, mixture, or preparation containing THC is exempt from control pursuant to this section shall be upon the person claiming such exemption, as set forth in section 515(a)(1) of the Act (21 U.S.C. 885(a)(1)). In order to meet this burden with respect to a product or plant material that has not been expressly exempted from control by the Administrator pursuant to Sec. 1308.23, the person claiming the exemption must present rigorous scientific evidence, including well-documented scientific studies by experts trained and qualified to evaluate the effects of drugs on humans.
Yes. In Rhode Island, all forms of Tetrahydrocannabinol and it’s isomers are classified as Schedule I Controlled Substances in the state.
Because Delta-8 is illegal in Rhode Island, there are no defined possession limits for the cannabinoid.
Rhode Island passed The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act in 2005. The measure was originally vetoed by Governor Donald Carcieri, but the ruling was overturned by the House. Cannabis is legal and accessible for qualifying patients in the state, but is still prohibited for recreational use.
Possession of less than one ounce is a Civil Offense punishable by a fine of up to $150.
Delta-8-THC is illegal in Rhode Island and cannot be legally purchased in the state.
In places where Delta-8-THC is legal (like both of Rhode Island's bordering states, Connecticutand Massachusetts), 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 Rhode Island 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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