Delta 8 THC in Arkansas: Is it Legal?
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No, as of this writing (5/4/2023), Delta-8 is not legal in Arkansas. On April 11, 2023, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed SB358 into law, effectively banning not just Delta-8 but all consumable products containing hemp-derived cannabinoids. Enforcement of this law will begin on August 1, 2023.
For more information on SB358, check out our video blog, Why Arkansas’ Senate Bill 358 is Terrible.
Delta-8 Is Banned in Arkansas
The Arkansas Legislature has effectively passed the country's worst and most restrictive piece of hemp legislation. The following section highlights why Delta-8 and other hemp-derived cannabinoid products are banned in The Natural State:
TO PROHIBIT INDUSTRIAL HEMP THAT CONTAIN CERTAIN DELTA TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL SUBSTANCES; TO INCLUDE CERTAIN TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL IN THE LIST OF SCHEDULE VI CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES; AND TO DECLARE AN EMERGENCY.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS:
SECTION 1. DO NOT CODIFY. Legislative intent.
(a) It is the intent of the General Assembly to prohibit the production and sale of intoxicating substances derived from industrial hemp.
(b) The General Assembly recognizes that the cultivation of hemp for industrial use, such as home and building construction, should remain authorized under the "Arkansas Industrial Hemp Production Act."
SECTION 2. Arkansas Code § 2-15-503(5), concerning definitions that apply under the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Production Act, is amended to read as follows:
(5) “Industrial hemp” means the plant Cannabis sativa and any part of the plant, including the seeds of the plant and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not,
that contains a with a total delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no more than three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) of the hemp derived cannabadiol on a dry weight basis, unless specifically controlled under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, § 5-64-101 et seq. that adopted by federal law under the Agricultural Marketing Act, 7 U.S.C. § 1639o, as it existed on January 1, 2021;
Arkansas and The Future of Hemp
Unfortunately, the state government of Arkansas has taken a prohibitionist stance on hemp and cannabis in general. But the fight is not over yet.
If you are an enthusiast or someone who works in this industry, you can contact your legislators by finding their contact info on this website to ensure your voice is heard.