The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) appears to back considering synthetically-derived cannabinoids that contain THC, such as delta-8 THC, as controlled substances under federal law, according to an agency conference presentation dated May 4.  

Responding to a control status inquiry, the DEA claims that “If the product contains any quantity of synthetic [THC], it is controlled in schedule I of the [Controlled Substances Act] unless it is specifically excepted or listed in another schedule [of] The Agricultural Improvement Act (AIA) of 2018. 

The 2018 AIA is better known as the 2018 Farm Bill which allowed for states to implement their own hemp programs, and their own rules, which led to an increase in hemp-derived Cannabis products, including synthetic THC products. 

In the presentation, the DEA suggests that “consumers may have a false sense of safety and legality, as delta-8 THC products may be labeled as ‘hemp,’ which consumers may not associate with psychoactive ingredients and negative outcomes.”   

In the document, the agency said it is planning a proposed rule to set THC limits in hemp products at less than 1%, aligning the products with others exempted in the AIA.  

The DEA notes that 14 states have already banned delta-8 THC products, while two others regulate delta-8 THC sales. 

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