Hemp, CBD businesses reflect on delta-8′s uncertain future amid recent win – The Dallas Morning News

Local hemp and CBD businesses are cautiously optimistic after a Travis County judge granted an injunction Monday, temporarily legalizing delta-8 products across Texas again.

Many Texans believed the products have been legal since they …….

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Local hemp and CBD businesses are cautiously optimistic after a Travis County judge granted an injunction Monday, temporarily legalizing delta-8 products across Texas again.

Many Texans believed the products have been legal since they ramped up in popularity in 2019, but public documents show the Department of State Health Services added it to the controlled substance schedule in January. The majority of consumers and sellers were unaware until the state health department published a clarification on its website in mid-October.

Several business owners scrambled for answers as they worried over potential jail time for possession and sale, while others stressed over its impact on their business.

“The department of health had clearly violated due process,” Chris Fagan, owner of Bee Hippy hemp dispensary, said of the legal battle. “They don’t have legal right to go and declare something a controlled substance if it’s already removed and no longer counted as a controlled substance.”

Delta-8 is a less potent alternative to the delta-9 product known as “marijuana” or “cannabis.”

Industry leaders have said consumers often use the product for pain management and mental health treatment, but they can also use it to create a “high” with psychoactive effects similar to those of delta-9 products. Texas officials say that schedule I controlled substances, which is how delta-8 was previously listed, have “no safe, accepted medical use.”

Despite the new notice, Fagan didn’t change business operations because he knew “the law is not changed until the law does change” through the formal process. But he did celebrate the legal win for other business owners.

“It’s real positive,” Fagan said of the injunction. “It’s gone down the way I expected. It just happened faster than I expected.”

Confusing legal status

A lot of CBD sellers and vape shops believed delta-8 was legal because of its federal legal status under the 2018 farm bill, which allowed individual states to write more stringent restrictions. Many did not know that Texas diverged from the federal bill when DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt in 2018 rejected the Drug Enforcement Agency’s modification that legalized delta-8.

Hellerstedt filed the official order with the Texas Register on Jan. 20 but did not explicitly mention delta-8, nor that the products would be added to the drug schedule.

There were no other public notices than the updates to the website and schedule, and more than 2,000 Texas licensees eligible to sell CBD products were never formally notified.

Threat of financial losses

Downtown Frisco’s Artistic Organics completely cleared its shelves of delta-8 products by Nov. 5, three days before Judge Jan Soifer granted the injunction that reverted the state’s drug schedule.

Owner Kellie Kauten said she marked down all delta-8 products by 20% when customers began to panic-buy.

The business was never at risk of shutting its doors for good since they sell other products, but Kauten said the loss of such profitable products would have been a “permanent hurt” to her business and the industry. Now, as the holiday season approaches, she says the business should recover.

Ashley Flood, who owns a CBD American Shaman franchise in Allen, said the judge’s ruling spared her business from a big hit.

Just before …….

Source: https://www.dallasnews.com/business/2021/11/12/hemp-cbd-businesses-reflect-on-delta-8s-uncertain-future-amid-recent-win/

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