THC Legal, in All 50 States – No Marijuana Legalization Required? This Texas company says it hacked federal drug laws.
Texas, home to some of the most punitive marijuana laws in the United States, is also home to more than its fair share of companies selling hemp and CBD products – which, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, are legal in all 50 states (even Texas).
Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis, but the distinction is a matter of law, not botany. Marijuana (illegal) contains more than 0.3 percent THC by volume; hemp (legal) has 0.3 percent or less. Specifically: Marijuana and THC get you high. Hemp and CBD don’t.
Or the distinction is supposed to disappear. Because if what Lukas Gilkey is telling me is correct, the hemp-derived chewing gum that I have in my hands – and that I’m about to put into my body – is the country’s first hemp-derived product that can get you high, and is still legal in all 50 states.
Gilkey is CEO of Austin Hometown Hero CBD. Hometown Hero sells CBD products as well as products containing Delta-8 THC, a synthetic molecule similar to the federally banned Delta-9 THC found in the cannabis plant. (Whenever you see references to âTHC,â it’s almost always Delta-9 THC.)
Edibles with Delta-8 THC get you high, but states are getting wired and passing bans on Delta-8. But then Gilkey achieved something.
The Farm Bill doesn’t ban all THC, it just bans THC above the 0.3% threshold. What if you extract enough THC from hemp and put it in a candy? Couldn’t you be consuming enough THC to create a buzz – and since the product was made from hemp and only contained 0.3% THC (and 99.7% of other things), wouldn’t it still be legal? ?
This is the theory behind Hometown Hero CBD’s “Select Spectrum” products. These thick, oversized wedge-sized gummies contain 10 milligrams of THC and 10 milligrams of CBD, just like some cannabis edibles you’ll find in a legal dispensary or illegally sold on the street.
But these edibles come from cannabis (or “marihuana”, if you’re the federal government Controlled Substances Act). Cannabis is only legal in this amount in states that have adult marijuana laws.
Some Spectrum products come from hemp – lots and lots of hemp, enough hemp to produce enough THC to get you high. And according to Gilkey – and Gilkey’s lawyers – all of this is then perfectly legal: legal to ship across state borders, legal to buy online and at gas stations and smokehouses, and legal to do all of this in 50 states.
âI’ll be the first to say we’re taking a big risk and putting a massive target on your back,â said Gilkey, who claims he spent last year and âhundreds of thousands of dollars on lawyersâ to make sure. that Select Spectrum doesn’t trigger a Drug Enforcement Administration raid and even more time to perfect the process.
âThe way you do it is very critical,â he adds. âThe Delta-9 level can never cross 0.3%. We therefore extract directly into the mixture for the sweets.
And the result? âThis is the real deal,â he promised me. “It’s going to put you on your ass, it’s strong. And it’s hemp, and federally legal.
When we spoke in early August, Gilkey predicted that Select Spectrum would set off a stampede from other companies who had come to similar conclusions. And he seems to be right: the legal loophole that allows THC products legal at the federal level attracted attention, and it looks like there are a few other companies, including one in Utah, who test the waters, using the same legal theory.
But none of that will matter unless the product is popular. And to be popular, it has to work.
So it works ? Will it get you ripped off? Twice I put the theory to the test: once in town and once on a Sunday getaway in the woods. And the answer isâ¦ sort of.
Both times I really felt something. An evening metro ride has been pleasantly changed. I felt more cowardly and a little crazy and silly in the familiar way when a strong edible is about to make its entranceâ¦ and then not much else. (These are 1 to 1 THC to CBD edibles, after all, and CBD is believed to enhance the effects of THC.)
So I skipped another one. The conversation sank, the Spotify pick on the ride home hit a little differently. Things felt better.
I was not sober! But was I high? And anyway, was it important?
The following week, while hiking with a friend, I packed more Select Spectrum gummies with my water, spare socks, and protein bars. Halfway through the ride, old knees sore, I skipped another. (For all the hemp supposedly in these things, they don’t taste different from your typical edible.)
I relaxed a bit, the knee barked less. They didn’t quite switch channels like the THC-only edibles I had brought to the Mets game a few nights before – again, I had also had more than one or two at this time. occasion – but they definitely did. Something.
And for some people, that will be more than enough. The main added value here seems to be “a THC product legal in all 50 states”, but the legalization of marijuana has also created a new kind of personal trial: the story “I ate too much edible and got myself. too stoned â. And Select Spectrum’s Delta-9 gummies didn’t do that.
For someone looking to tweak the reality dial a bit without going overboard, this could be perfect. For someone who lives in a state like Texas, this could be perfect. (For the rest of us, we’ll probably be smoking weed.)
Marijuana laws are constantly changing. On September 1, the amount of THC allowed in CBD oil in Texas will double from 0.5% to 1%. And there is a federal marijuana legalization bill in the US Senate, awaiting a hearing.
When the walls of the federal ban finally fall, a THC product made solely from hemp might be too specialized to compete. Until then, Delta-9 THC products derived from hemp exploit the main market inefficiency of the cannabis industry. And it goes without saying that there will be more to come.