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Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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Delta 8: Is It Legal in Illinois?

Most people in Illinois know that marijuana is legal in the state, both medicinally and recreationally. However, there are some products that seem to live in a gray area of legality in many places – products like Delta 8.

Delta 8 is a derivative of hemp. It is also legal in Illinois. Still, there are some important things to understand about the legality of this substance. Read on to find out more about Delta 8 in Illinois.

What Is Delta 8?

Delta 8 is a chemical compound found naturally in hemp and marijuana. The chemical structure of Delta 8 is very similar to that found in marijuana. It contains THC just like its cousin Delta 9, the main compound found in marijuana that produces the euphoric feeling of being “high.”

Delta 8 is not as strong as Delta 9, which is why many people want access to it. You may hear it referred to as “diet weed” or “weed lite” for this reason. It typically has fewer of the less desired side effects of marijuana, such as anxiety, drowsiness, and paranoia.

In states where marijuana is not legal, Delta 8 is quite popular as an alternative to marijuana. However, there are important reasons for maintaining its regulation by state governments, including those in states like Illinois, where marijuana is legal.

Because it is derived from hemp and has naturally lower THC levels, this has allowed people to take advantage of legal loopholes to produce products containing it. These products may not be safe since their production isn’t regulated. This is why Illinois stepped in to make the products safer.

The Farm Bill

In 2018, the Farm Bill legalized hemp and its derivatives through the federal government. Legal cannabis products have less than 0.3 percent of THC in them. Even with the Farm Bill, each state can choose whether or not to pass laws that recategorize substances like hemp.

While these laws can change anytime, Illinois currently allows the main ingredient in these products, HHC. But the Illinois Department of Agriculture has stated that hemp and any hemp derivatives cannot be used to make intoxicating substances such as HHC or Delta 8.

The Problem with Delta 8 in Illinois

So why did the Department of Agriculture in the state restrict products like Delta 8? It’s important to understand that Delta 8 and hemp-derived products are still legal in the state. However, to combat these products’ lack of health and safety testing, they created rules about who can make and sell them.

The Problem with Delta 8 in Illinois

In Illinois, online sales of Delta 8 are restricted. The only places that can legally sell these products are registered dispensaries. They cannot be combined with other intoxicating compounds.

Living in Illinois affords citizens many options that other states don’t provide, such as access to safe, regulated marijuana products – and now hemp derivatives like Delta 8. You should only buy this product from reputable dispensaries that have taken the time to produce a quality product for you to enjoy.

If you are found purchasing it illegally, then you may be in legal trouble as a result. That’s when it’s important to contact an experienced attorney to help you navigate the charges against you and avoid a criminal record that can impact your life.

About the Author:

Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.

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