Medically Reviewed By:Nidra Sidhu, M.D. Integrative Medicine
Table Of Contents
Table Of Contents
Is Delta 8 Legal Pennsylvania? Where To Buy In 2022
Since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and its derived products containing no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol on a federal level, hemp-derived cannabinoids such as delta 8 THC have enjoyed federally legal status.
Although legal on a federal level, every state governs hemp differently. Some legalize it while others ban it entirely because each state’s officials can decide on the legal status of delta 8 THC for their state.
So is delta 8 legal in Pennsylvania? Yes - Delta 8 is legal in Pennsylvania at the time of writing this article. However, after two senators sent out a memorandum to the state senate addressing their concerns on the legality of delta 8, the legal status of delta 8 seems to be at risk in Pennsylvania and it's difficult to predict how long delta 8 will continue being legal in the Keynote state.
This article discusses the legality of delta 8 in Pennsylvania and the risk it might be facing and what makes delta 8 THC legal in PA.
Delta 8 Vs. Delta 9
Delta 8 and delta 9 are among over 100 phytocannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis plants. These compounds are similar in many ways, from sharing the same molecular formula to producing similar effects.
The major difference between delta 8 and delta 9 lies in the structural arrangement of their molecules. Both Delta 8 and delta 9 have a double carbon bond; delta 8’s double bond occurs on the eighth carbon and delta 9’s on the ninth carbon.
This difference might seem insignificant just by looking at it but it is not. This subtle difference between the compounds is what causes them to have different but similar effects on the human body.
The main psychoactive compound in cannabis is delta 9 THC, which is the compound that people mostly refer to as marijuana or cannabis. Delta 9 has a higher potency than delta 8 which causes it to produce a more intense high. Delta 8’s molecular structure allows the compound to interact with the body in a way that produces milder psychoactive effects than delta 9 THC.
The 2018 Farm Bill
For a better understanding of Pennsylvania hemp laws, let’s take a quick look at the bill that legalized hemp and its derivatives on a federal level.
The 2018 Farm Bill which is popularly known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 is the legislature that federally changed the legal status of hemp plants. This law has contributed greatly to the domestic hemp industry in the past couple of years.
One significant change that the Act brought about was the legal distinction between hemp and marijuana. Despite their scientific similarities, federal law gives distinct legal definitions to the two plants and removes hemp as a controlled substance. The plant cannabis Sativa containing no more than 0.3 % THC is classified as hemp while plants of the genus cannabis Sativa with more than 0.3% marijuana.
This change in the Act legalized hemp and its derived products like delta 8 provided they do not contain more than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. Marijuana, however, is still illegal under federal law but a recent statement by the current government gives hope for recreational marijuana to be legalized as the government revises marijuana policies in the United States.
As of now, hemp products such as delta 8 THC are the only legal cannabis products available in the US.
Pennsylvania Hemp and Delta 8 Laws
In 2016, Penn state passed House Bill 967. This bill created an Industrial hemp pilot program for the purpose of researching more about the plant.
After the 2018 federal Farm Bill, Pennsylvania expanded on its industrial hemp pilot program and amended the state hemp laws to better align with federal law and definitions, creating a program for hemp farmers and regulating cultivation and hemp production. This was done through the passage of Senate Bill 335 in 2019.
The state defined hemp as a plant of the genus cannabis Sativa and any part of the plant not containing more than 0.3% THC. The Act also legalized finished hemp products containing industrial hemp such as food or cosmetics and all other cannabinoids from the plant containing no more than 0.3% THC.
These new amendments legalized hemp products in the state making delta 8 legal in Pennsylvania with the proviso that it be derived from hemp and not marijuana and it should not contain more than 0.3% THC.
Pennsylvania State Hemp Law Amendments
Amendments to the Senate Bill 335 clarifies the definition of the industrial hemp plant and hemp products.
“Industrial hemp” - A plant of the genus cannabis and any part of the plant, whether growing or not, containing a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis.
“Product” - A finished product containing industrial hemp plant which:
The state also made amendments to its Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana.
Current Status of Delta 8 THC in Pennsylvania
More recently there has been talk about Pennsylvania banning hemp-derived delta 8 products. Two state senators, Judith Schwank, and Sharif Street, sent out a memorandum to Senate in April 2022 stating they will introduce in the near future a language that would ban products being sold that contain delta 8 THC made from hemp.
The primary reason for their concern is the lack of regulatory oversight of the sale and purchase of delta 8 THC products in the state.
What Will a Delta 8 Ban Mean For Pennsylvania?
Since many businesses in the state rely heavily on delta 8 for-profit and many people use the compound as an alternative to delta 9 for its reported milder side effects, a delta 8 ban would not be ideal in the effort to regulate delta 8 THC.
Although the memorandum raises a valid point and the delta 8 market is highly unregulated, a complete ban on the compound can result in a dangerous black market for delta 8 products.
The Regulatory Framework
Hence the best approach would be for the government to establish a legal regulatory framework that would oversee the production, manufacturing, testing, and distribution of delta 8 THC products.
This would regulate the cannabinoid, giving recreational users and potential medical marijuana patients legal and safe access to the benefits of delta 8.
That said, it is still up to the state to determine the fate of delta 8 THC but we can hope they don’t make the compound entirely illegal.
Is Delta 9 Legal in Pennsylvania?
In April 2016, Pennsylvania became the 24th US state to legalize medical cannabis after the passage of Senate Bill 3 which made it possible for patients to access marijuana.
SB 3 allowed licensed physicians to prescribe medical cannabis and created a regulatory framework for its distribution to medical marijuana-qualifying patients. Cannabis companies were also permitted to produce medical marijuana for commercial purposes. However, the program only permitted non-smokable cannabis and prohibited home cultivation of the plant.
House Bill 1024
Fast forward to 2019, Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program was updated with the signing of House Bill 1024. The bill expanded the list of qualifying conditions, some of the added conditions were PTSD, severe or intractable pain, glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease, and autism.
HB 1024 also allows patients with medical marijuana cards to buy whole-plant cannabis flowers, cannabis concentrates, vape products, cannabis food products, and drinks. Smoking cannabis is still illegal for medical marijuana patients but vaping isn’t.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health oversees the state's medical marijuana program, implements rules, regulates licensing, and issues licenses to growers, processors, and dispensaries across the state.
Is Recreational Cannabis Legal in Pennsylvania?
Recreational cannabis remains illegal and strictly regulated in Pennsylvania. The state prohibits the use, possession, sale, and distribution of marijuana.
Possession of up to 30 grams is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in prison and a $500 fine. Several cities however decriminalize possession of small quantities of cannabis.
For instance, possession of up to 30 grams in Philadelphia is punishable by a citation and a $25 fine. Smoking in public has a $1000 penalty with a citation and community service.
However, with the current legalization of recreational cannabis by their neighboring state, New Jersey, and the current government looking to legalize cannabis, Governor Tom Wolf has called on Pennsylvania lawmakers to create a legal recreational marijuana program.
The governor also launched a marijuana pardon project in September 2022 to pardon people who have been convicted of minor marijuana charges.
Buying Delta 8 in Pennsylvania
Despite attempts to ban delta 8 in Pennsylvania, you can still buy and use hemp-derived products since it is still legal. You can buy delta 8 from traditional brick-and-mortar shops like dispensaries, smoke shops, convenience stores, or gas stations.
An Unregulated Market
The delta 8 market is highly unregulated so there is a possibility that mislabeled or even fake products are sold at physical stores. We recommend you buy your delta 8 products online from legitimate online brands to limit the risk of buying such products.
Online stores that sell hemp products offer convenience and better prices, and they protect your privacy. However, you should research the brand to make sure they are legit and the products sold are federal farm bill compliant and have been through mandatory testing.
Things to Look Out For When Buying Delta 8
To ensure you get the best experience from your delta 8 consumption, you need to get high-quality products that are compliant with state laws such as our delta 8 gummies 100mg. Here are some pointers to getting high-quality products.
Research the brand to make sure they have a good reputation for delivering high-quality and Farm Bill-compliant products before you make a purchasing decision.
Third-Party Lab Testing Results
Most online brands offer transparency by adding a copy of their certificate of analysis (COA) on their website. The COA will not only show you the content (ingredients) of the product but will also tell you if they are safe from residual harmful toxins, protecting you from health risks.
The Right Type of Hemp
Delta 8 has to be derived from hemp to be legal but the hemp plant also plays a major role in how efficient the cannabinoid will be. Hemp plants that offer great benefits are organic hemp which is mostly US grown.
Delta 8 legality in Pennsylvania - FAQs
We clear up any other questions you might have about Delta 8 legality in Pennsylvania.
Can You Travel To Pennsylvania With Delta 8?
The Farm Bill allows for delta 8 to be transported across state lines and so does Pennsylvania state law. You can travel to Pennsylvania with delta 8 or hemp-derived products provided they were sourced from hemp and not marijuana and contain the federally acceptable level of THC.
At What Age Can You Buy Delta 8 In Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania doesn’t implement regulations on the age limit for buying or using delta 8 THC. So this leaves retailers to determine the age to sell their products to their customers. Most retailers require you to be 21 years or above to purchase delta 8 products.
Are All Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids Legal In Pennsylvania?
Delta 8 may be the most popular cannabinoid derived from hemp but it has many close siblings that may be equally beneficial. Some of these cannabinoids are delta 10 THC, HHC, THC-O, and THC-P. The question is, are these other cannabinoids from hemp plants also legal in Pennsylvania?
Yes - all these other cannabinoids derived from hemp are legal under federal and state law provided they contain no more than 0.3% THC.
Is delta 8 legal in Pennsylvania? Yes - delta 8 is legal in the Keynote state despite attempts to make it illegal. It must, however, be derived from hemp and its THC level should be capped at the legal limit which is 0.3%. Delta 8 derived from marijuana or cannabis is illegal since marijuana is classified as a controlled substance.
You can purchase delta 8 from physical stores or you can conveniently buy it online to enjoy benefits such as better prices, higher-quality products, a variety of products, and protection of privacy.
While delta 8 is legal in Pennsylvania at present its future is uncertain and it's hard to say for how long delta 8 THC will continue enjoying its current legal status. It is incumbent on you to keep an eye out for changes in Pennsylvania state law regarding delta 8 gummies 1000mg to avoid any negative legal consequences.
In the meantime, if you are looking for premium quality delta 8 THC, we recommend our delta 8 THC gummies. They are sourced from organic US grown legal hemp and offer great benefits.
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.