Effective October 11, 2021, Michigan businesses will require proper licensing from the Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) to sell products containing delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), or delta-8 THC. This stems from a legislative package signed into law in July 2021 by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Currently, there are no regulations for selling or distributing delta-8 products, which is why they are commonly and readily found at gas stations and convenience stores under the guise of hemp. In reality, most delta-8 products have been synthesized through a process to convert hemp-derived CBD into delta-8.
So what is delta-8? Delta-8 is a cannabinoid that is similar in qualities to delta-9 THC, which is the compound most would refer to as “regular” THC. According to the MRA:
THC is the part of the marijuana plant that produces the ‘high’ associated with marijuana; the scientific name for THC is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or delta-9 THC, or just delta-9. Delta-8 is short for delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol, or delta-8 THC. Delta-8 causes effects for users similar to regular delta-9.
Both compounds have a double bond structure along their chain of carbon atoms. This double bond is believed to “produce the intoxicating effects that make you feel high.” In delta-8, the double bond is on the eighth carbon; in delta-9, the double bond is on the ninth carbon.
Because the structures of these compounds are so similar, the effects they cause on users can be similar as well. These effects may include euphoria, pain relief, dry mouth, red eyes, increased appetite, or anxiety. Essentially, delta-8 can produce effects that make you feel “high,” although not to the extent of delta-9.
As Michigan has recently passed legislation that classifies delta-8 as “marijuana,” any products containing delta-8 will be regulated by the MRA beginning October 11, 2021. Michigan businesses wishing to sell these products will have to go through the proper channels with the MRA in becoming licensed to do so.
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