February 22, 2021 5 min read

Updated to federal law legalized hemp and hemp derivatives. This led to the popularity of one mildly psychoactive hemp cannabinoid: Delta-8-THC. But is Delta-8-THC legal in Washington? And if so, do you have to go to state dispensaries to get it?

Originally, Washington’s hemp legislation seemed to legalize Delta-8, but the state has recently clarified a complete ban on Delta-8. Here's what you need to know about Washington’s Delta-8-THC 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
Washington Delta-8-THC Laws
Is Delta-8 a Controlled Substance in Washington?
Delta-8-THC Possession Limits in Washington
Is Delta-9-THC Legal in Washington?
Where to Buy Delta-8 in Washington
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.
  • Washington legalized hemp and all hemp extracts and derivatives, but has placed a ban on Dleta-8 products made from hemp.
  • You generally need to be at least 21 years old to purchase Delta-8-THC products made from hemp, but you can't find legal Delta-8 products in stores in Washington. 

Washington Delta 8 THC Laws

Unlike many states with read-between-the-lines legislation, Washington has clearly legalized and descheduled hemp products in the state.

Washington law legalized hemp using the same definition as federal legislation—any cannabis material containing less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC, including cannabinoids, isomers, salts, salts of isomers, and all other extracts. By this definition, Delta-8 is legal when derived from legal hemp materials.

These amendments to state law also impacted the Controlled Substances Act by specifically excluding hemp and hemp products from the definition of “controlled substance.”

These updated originally seemed to make Delta-8-THC legal and accessible in Washington, which was a stark contrast to many nearby states where Delta-8 is prohibited, like Idaho and Montana.

However, in September of 2021, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board released an enforcement bulletin that clarified that the conversion of CBD to Delta-8-THC and the purchase or sale of hemp-derived Delta-8 are prohibited in Washington. 

In short, Delta-8-THC is illegal in Washington state. 

Here are some excerpts from the relevant legislation:

SENATE BILL 5276

Sec. 2. RCW15.120.010

“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.

Sec. 5. RCW69.50.101

(d) “CBD product” means any product containing or consisting of cannabidiol.

(f) “Controlled substance” means a drug, substance, or immediate precursor included in Schedules I through V as set forth in federal or state laws, or federal or commission rules, but does not include hemp as defined in RCW 15.120.010.

(x) “Marijuana” or “marihuana” means all parts of the plant Cannabis, whether growing or not, with a THC concentration greater than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis; 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. The term does not include:

(1) 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 the mature stalks (except the resin extracted therefrom), fiber, oil, or cake, or the sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination; or

(2) Hemp as defined in RCW 15.120.010.

(tt) “THC concentration” means percent of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol content per dry weight of any part of the plant Cannabis, or per volume or weight of marijuana product, or the combined percent of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid in any part of the plant Cannabis regardless of moisture content.

Two blooming hemp plants, the federally legal material used to make Delta-8-THC products. Is Delta-8 a Controlled Substance in Washington?

No. Washington law has specifically been updated to read that “controlled substance...does not include hemp” as defined by state law. Washington defines hemp as any hemp material, including cannabinoids, isomers, and all other extracts, that contains less than 0.3% Delta-9-THC by dry weight.

However, Washington has banned the production and sale of Delta-8 products regardless of its scheduling status. 

Delta 8 THC Possession Limits in Washington

Hemp-derived Delta-8 is illegal in the state and therefore there are no possession limits in place. 

Is Cannabis (Delta 9 THC) Legal in Washington?

Washington passed Initiative 692 (I-692) in 1998 to become one of the first states in the country to legalize cannabis for medicinal use. Later in 2012, the state passed Initiative 502 (I-502) which legalized and regulated the sale and taxation of recreational marijuana.

Now, cannabis is legal for medical use by any qualifying patient with a state-issued medical card and for recreational use by any adult over the age of 21.

Where to Buy Delta 8 in Washington?

A selection of Delta-8-THC vaporizers, a fast-acting dosing method available in areas where Delta-8-THC is legal.

It is illegal to buy or sell Delta-8-THC products in the state of Washington. Delta-8 may be accessible in some neighboring states, but it may not be well regulated. It may also be illegal to carry Dleta-8 across state lines. 

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 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 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 Washington?

Hemp-derived Delta-8 is not legal in Washington so there are no age limits in place. 

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 illegal in Washington 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. “Chapter 15.120.010 RCW Dispositions
  5. INDUSTRIAL HEMP RESEARCH PROGRAM” https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/dispo.aspx?cite=15.120.010
  6. “RCW 69.50.101
  7. Definitions. (Effective until July 1, 2022.)” https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.50.101
  8. Text of Initiatives 1996-2005” https://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/initiatives/text/i692.pdf
  9. “Initiative Measure No. 502” https://sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/initiatives/i502.pdf

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