Laws and Regulations

How are Companies Legally Selling Delta-9 Edibles Nationwide?

Written by Nick Congleton

There are shops selling edibles with sizable doses of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) across the US. At the same time, there are hemp manufacturers selling delta-9 edibles online and shipping them cross-country. How are they getting away with it?

There’s a technicality, sometimes referred to as the “edible clause” that’s allowing the sale of delta-9 products across the US, legally. More and more companies are becoming aware of it and taking full advantage of the law’s unusual loophole.


Wait, Companies are Selling Delta-9?

Yes! Around the US, there are dozens of CBD companies that started producing delta-9 THC products for sale anywhere in the country. In fact, you can even get a lot of them online. It’s not just smaller, disreputable companies either. There are plenty of top respected CBD manufacturers getting in on the new delta-9 boom, in edibles at least.

Most of the delta-9 products you’ll find are gummies. They’re easy to regulate and keep consistent, and probably most importantly, their uniform consistency means it’s simpler to keep track of how much their ingredients weigh. You can also find packaged delta-9 cookies, candy, and chocolate. All of them are labeled with the amount of delta-9 per serving, and the total amount contained in the package.

As always with purchasing cannabis products, check out the manufacturer. Make sure they’re a legitimate company with a good reputation. See if they have independent lab test results available to certify the content and safety of their products.


How the Farm Bill Makes it Legal

Delta-9 THC is illegal on the federal level in the US, right? If so, how is all of this going on?
Well, the law actually isn’t as clear-cut as it may seem. That’s not to say cannabis flower with a delta-9 concentration over 0.3% isn’t illegal in states without legalized recreational cannabis; it very much so still is. There’s an odd loophole, though, in the exact wording of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp on the national level.

The text of the Farm Bill [1] explicitly states “The term “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.” So, technically speaking, if a cannabis product is derived from hemp and contains less that 0.3% of delta-9 THC by dry weight, it’s legal on the federal level.

Many are now interpreting this language to mean that as long as the cannabinoids contained in a product come from hemp and delta-9 THC only makes up 0.3% of the total weight of the product, it’s legal under the Farm Bill. So, edibles, which always contain many more ingredients than just the ones from cannabis, can easily be made legal by adding enough ingredients that delta-9 is only 0.3% of the total weight. Think of it this way: if a cookie weights 12 grams (an average weight for a cookie), it can contain up to 36 mg of delta-9 THC and still be legal.

Now, all of this may technically be true, and as of now, that’s the way the federal law stands. However, it doesn’t seem to be entirely within the spirit of the law, and there’s a decent chance someone will challenge it in the future.






About the author

Nick Congleton