Medically Reviewed By:Nidra Sidhu, M.D. Integrative Medicine
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Table Of Contents
Is Delta 8 Legal In Virginia? Where To Buy Delta 8 In Virginia
Delta 8 THC is partially legal in Virginia. Delta 8 vapes and tinctures are allowed, but state authorities restrict the production and sale of food and beverages infused with hemp-derived delta 8 THC.
This partial delta 8 ban is backed by amendments to House Bill 30 signed by Governor Glenn Youngkin which took effect on July 1, 2022.
The state’s regulators released a statement claiming that delta 8 THC is a food adulterant and urged manufacturers to immediately stop the production, distribution, and sale of such delta 8 products because it is in violation of the Virginia Food and Drink Law.
This article covers the breakdown of Virginia state law regarding delta 8 and where you can buy delta 8 products in the Old Dominion state.
What Is Delta 8?
We will delve into the partial legality of delta 8 in Virginia shortly but before then, let’s discuss what exactly delta 8 is and its similarities with delta 9.
Delta 8 THC is a minor cannabinoid found in the cannabis and hemp plant.. Although delta 8 is a naturally occurring compound, it comes in such tiny quantities that extraction in larger quantities is quite impossible.
However, Cannabidiol, popularly known as CBD and delta 9 THC, extracted from the cannabis or hemp plants can be chemically synthesized into delta 8 through a process called isomerization. This conversion makes it possible for delta 8 producers to get delta 8 in larger quantities for distribution.
Delta 8 is an isomer of delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) molecule, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, which makes delta 8 a psychoactive compound. This means that delta 8 can cause a high quite similar to the high associated with taking marijuana.
Similarities Between Delta 8 THC And Delta 9 THC
How are these two phytocannabinoids similar?
- Delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC can both be naturally sourced from the Cannabis Sativa plants.
- Each of these compounds has a carbon double bond in their chemical formula, the double bond of delta 8 THC happens on the eighth carbon atom while that of delta 9 THC occurs on the ninth carbon atom.
- Both compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system in a similar way to produce psychoactive effects, however, delta 8’s high isn’t as intense as delta 9 THC. It is also not accompanied by the severe side effects that delta 9 THC can produce such as anxiety or paranoia.
Virginia Delta 8 THC Laws
Shortly after Congress passed the Farm Bill which legalized hemp and its derivatives on a federal level, Virginia passed House Bill 1839. This Bill legalized hemp cultivation and the manufacture, use, possession, distribution, and sale of all hemp-derived products, including delta 8 THC, just as federal law does.
They also changed the Virginia Drug Control Act in 2020, separating the definition of hemp from marijuana and removing all hemp-derived THC from the controlled substances list.
These actions made all hemp products, including edibles, vapes, tinctures, and oils containing no more than 0.3% delta 9 THC legally accessible to residents of Virginia without restrictions.
In April 2022, Governor Glenn Youngkin tried to amend Senate Bill 591 to ban delta 8 THC by changing the definition of marijuana to include any product with over 0.3% or more than 0.25 mg per serving/1 mg THC per package. However, the state Senate rejected the amended bill, keeping delta 8 THC legal in Virginia.
Although this Bill was rejected by state lawmakers the state nevertheless decided to regulate and restrict delta 8 THC.
Virginia made amendments to the Code of Virginia through House Bill 30 signed by Governor Glenn Youngkin. These changes created a task force to regulate the manufacture and sale of delta 8 edibles (food and beverages) carrying up to 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis to anyone below 21 years.
Virginia Amended Laws For Industrial Hemp Edibles
§ 3.2-5145.5 of House Bill 30 establishes regulations for industrial hemp products.
C. The Board shall adopt regulations establishing labeling requirements for an industrial hemp extract or food containing an industrial hemp extract.
Such regulations shall require that any industrial hemp extract or food containing such extract that contains tetrahydrocannabinol be equipped with a label that states
(i) that the industrial hemp extract or food containing an industrial hemp extract contains tetrahydrocannabinol and may not be sold to persons younger than 21 years of age.
(ii) all ingredients contained in the industrial hemp extract or food containing an industrial hemp extract.
(iii) the amount of such industrial hemp extract or food containing an industrial hemp extract that constitutes a single serving.
(iv) the total percentage and milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol included in the industrial hemp extract or food containing an industrial hemp extract and the number of milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol that are contained in each serving
This amendment made delta 8 edibles highly regulated in Virginia. Manufacturers had to comply with new packaging, labeling, and testing guidelines before releasing their products for sale.
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Press Release
In response to the Governor’s amendments, Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and Attorney General Jason Miyares released a press statement that they are working on regulating the safe and responsible manufacture of hemp-derived edibles.
VDACS claims that delta 8 THC is a chemically synthesized cannabinoid and food adulterant which is not permitted in food and beverages meant for human consumption. Manufacturing such hemp products fall in violation of the Virginia Food and Drink Law. However, if hemp producers wish to manufacture these hemp products, they will have to obtain a permit from them and abide by their strict regulations.
Also, manufacturers are not allowed to sell an edible or inhaled product that contains THC unless the product is packaged and labeled as required by the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. Businesses may not offer for sale or sell an edible or inhaled product that contains THC in a package that mimics a trademarked brand or other famous or identifying marks.
Additionally, manufacturing or selling food containing an industrial hemp extract or substance containing THC that depicts or is in the shape of a human, animal, vehicle, or fruit is prohibited.
According to VDACS, failure to achieve voluntary compliance from producers with these guidelines can result in a class 1 misdemeanor civil penalty which is punishable by a fine or jail time.
What Delta 8 THC Products Can You Buy In Virginia?
Due to its partially legal status in Virginia, not all delta 8 products are permitted to be sold on the market. Since House Bill 30 and the VDACS only seek to regulate delta 8 food products and beverages such as gummies, cookies, or delta 8 infused drinks, you can still buy other delta 8 products.
You can still legally purchase delta 8 products like tinctures, vapes, delta 8 flowers, and topicals.
Buying Delta 8 THC Products In Virginia
Delta 8 vapes, tinctures, flowers, and topicals are still legal to purchase. You can buy them from smoke shops, convenience stores, dispensaries, and gas stations.
While buying from a local store might sometimes be convenient, it is not always advisable because the delta 8 THC market is unregulated.
As a result you could purchase a fake or mislabeled hemp product which will either get you in trouble with the law, negatively alter your delta 8 experience, or cause health complications. We, therefore, advise that you buy your delta 8 products from trusted online brands, directly from the manufacturers to ensure you purchase high-quality THC products.
Below are some factors to look out for to ensure you get premium delta 8 THC products online.
Certificate of Analysis
A certificate of analysis or third-party lab results verifies that the hemp products are safe to consume. It also helps you confirm if the product contains an acceptable level of THC. You can find this on the website of every trusted brand.
Customer reviews make shopping online a little easier since other users verify the product's quality for you. The delta 8 THC experience appears to be different for everyone but positive reviews are always good and they will give you a fair idea about the product and how it works.
Type Of Hemp
US organic-grown hemp happens to be the best when it comes to hemp for producing premium delta 8 products. The type of hemp used to manufacture the delta 8 product will impact the quality of the product so be sure to go for delta 8 products made with US-grown hemp.
Can You Travel To Virginia With Delta 8 THC?
Since delta 8 THC is legal in Virginia, you can travel to Virginia with delta 8 products but the state currently restricts delta 8 edibles so we don’t recommend traveling there with your delta 8 edibles.
You can travel to Virginia with other delta 8 products like vapes or tinctures but be sure to leave your delta 8 edibles at home.
Is Marijuana Legal In Virginia?
Cannabis in Virginia is legal for both recreational and medical use. The first medical marijuana dispensary opened in August 2020 and adult recreational use was legalized in July 2021.
Medical Marijuana in Virginia
Virginia has allowed the use of medical cannabis for cancer and glaucoma patients since 1998.
After passing Senate Bill 976, medical marijuana was legalized on a broader basis by adding over 16 more qualifying conditions to cancer and glaucoma. Qualifying patients must obtain a medical marijuana card to buy medical marijuana products from state-licensed dispensaries.
Recreational Marijuana In Virginia
Virginia passed two Bills on February 5, 2021, to legalize the use and personal cultivation of cannabis by adults 21 years and above. State lawmakers also seek to establish a regulatory framework for manufacturing, testing, and commercial sales of cannabis products, by 2024.
The law legalized possession of up to an ounce or 28 grams or less and also allows for the growth of up to four cannabis per household.
Currently, you cannot buy recreational cannabis products because retail sales are expected to start in 2024 but you can grow it at your private residence.
Is Delta 10 THC, HHC, and THC-O Legal In Virginia?
Yes, other hemp-derived cannabinoids are legal in the state as long as they don’t contain more than 0.3 % delta 9 THC. However, just like the laws surrounding delta 8 THC, you cannot manufacture, distribute, sell, or buy food and drinks infused with a chemically synthesized cannabinoid like HHC but you can get legal access to their vapes, tinctures, or topicals.
What Does The Future Hold For Delta 8 In Virginia?
Governor Glenn Youngkin tried to ban delta 8 THC but the state Senate rejected the amended bill, keeping delta 8 THC partially legal in Virginia. However, House Bill 30 and the VDACS have placed heavy restrictions on the sale of delta 8 edibles, such as cookies and gummies.
Currently, you can only buy delta 8 vapes, tinctures, flowers, or topicals in Virginia provided they contain no more than 0.3 % delta 9 THC. Virginia doesn’t have age regulations for buying such products but retailers mostly require you to be 21 years or above to buy hemp products.
Read more about the legal status of delta 8 THC in Virginia’s neighboring state Tennessee in our article here.
Legal Disclaimer: Always consult an attorney for the best legal advice regarding THC and your state law, as the material shared here is for informational purposes only.
Clayton is a Senior Content Specialist, researcher, and holistic healthcare practitioner. Having been in the supplement industry for more than 15 years, Clayton brings a wealth of experience to the delta 8 space. His publications include alternative therapy, stress and coping, and alternative health.