Although controversial, hemp products like Delta-8 are considered legal by federal law. It’s not so clear cut at the state level, leaving many people to wonder about the Delta-8 laws in their state. Is Delta-8-THC legal in Virginia? And if so, where can you find it?
Thankfully, yes! Virginia has maintained a pro-hemp stance that led to the broad legalization of hemp products. Delta-8 products are both legal and accessible in the state.
Here’s what you should know about Virginia Delta-8 laws before you buy:
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
Virginia Delta-8-THC Laws
Is Delta-8 a Controlled Substance in Virginia?
Delta-8-THC Possession Limits in Virginia
Is Delta-9-THC Legal in Virginia?
Where to Buy Delta-8 in Virginia
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.
Virginia was one of the most influential states in the national legalization of hemp agriculture, and all forms of hemp and hemp derivatives, like CBD, are legal in Virginia. Virginia law may have influenced other nearby states where Delta-8 is legal, like Tennessee, West Virginia, and North and South Carolina.
The state defines hemp according to the definition used by federal law, and “hemp” includes all hemp cannabinoids, isomers, salts, salts of isomers, and other extracts. Virginia has also made amendments to their Controlled Substances Act to specify that hemp-derived tetrahydrocannabinols are excluded from the list of Schedule I substances, and that “hemp” is excluded from the state’s definition of marijuana.
Thanks to these amendments, Delta-8-THC is legal in Virginia.
Here are some highlights from the text:
“Hemp product” means any finished product that is otherwise lawful and that contains industrial hemp, including rope, building materials, automobile parts, animal bedding, animal feed, cosmetics, oil containing an industrial hemp extract, or food or food additives for human consumption.
“Industrial hemp” means any part of the plant Cannabis sativa, including seeds thereof and any derivative, extract, cannabinoid, isomer, acid, salt, or salt of an isomer, whether growing or not, with a concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol that is no greater than that allowed by federal law
“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.
Marijuana” means any part of a plant of the genus Cannabis whether growing or not, its seeds, or its resin; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds, or its resin. Marijuana shall not include any oily extract containing one or more cannabinoids unless such extract contains less than 12 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol by weight, nor shall marijuana include the mature stalks of such plant, fiber produced from such stalk, or oil or cake made from the seeds of such plant, unless such stalks, fiber, oil, or cake is combined with other parts of plants of the genus Cannabis. Marijuana shall not include (i) industrial hemp, as defined in § 3.2-4112, that is possessed by a person registered pursuant to subsection A of § 3.2-4115 or his agent, or (ii) a hemp product, as defined in § 3.2-4112, containing a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no greater than 0.3 percent that is derived from industrial hemp, as defined in § 3.2-4112, that is grown, dealt, or processed in compliance with state or federal law.
Tetrahydrocannabinols, except as present in (i) industrial hemp, as defined in § 3.2-4112, that is possessed by a person registered pursuant to subsection A of § 3.2-4115 or his agent; (ii) a hemp product, as defined in § 3.2-4112, containing a tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no greater than 0.3 percent that is derived from industrial hemp, as defined in § 3.2-4112, that is grown, dealt, or processed in compliance with state or federal law; (iii) marijuana; or (iv) dronabinol in sesame oil and encapsulated in a soft gelatin capsule in a drug product approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration;
When Virginia updated their hemp laws to more closely match those laid out by federal law, the updates included amendments to the Controlled Substances Act. These updates specifically made exemptions for hemp and hemp-derived tetrahydrocannabinols where tetrahydrocannabinols are otherwise listed as Schedule I Controlled Substances in the state.
Virginia law does not define any possession limits for hemp or hemp material. That means there are no possession limits in place for Delta-8-THC derived from legal hemp materials.
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.
Virginia actually was the first state to legalize medical cannabis, but the legislation came as part of the state’s criminal code and required a doctor’s prescription. For over a decade, this came with legal implications because the FDA governs the use of “prescriptions” in the U.S. and cannabis has not yet been FDA approved.
Since then, updates to state legislation have expanded access to THCA and CBD oil to qualifying patients in the state.
According to recent reports, Virginia has now passed recreational legislation that aims to open dispensaries in the state by 2024. Cannabis was previously decriminalized, but is now set to be fully legalized in Virginia.
Virginia allows hemp products to be sold in stores across the state, but the industry is not yet well regulated. That means that you can likely find Delta-8 products in stores across Virginia, but the quality of the products you find may be in question.
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 Virginia 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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