In a recent court ruling, delta-8 THC remains legal in Texas, marking a significant victory for the state’s hemp industry. The legal battle, ongoing for several years, saw the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) attempting to classify delta-8 and other THC isomers as Schedule I controlled substances. However, a recent decision by the Texas Court of Appeals for the Third District at Austin granted a temporary injunction, preventing the ban from taking effect.
“We are delighted that the Third Court of Appeals of Texas today upheld the decision to stop the prohibition of hemp-derived delta-8 products,” declared Hometown Hero CBD, a company at the forefront of the legal fight. “Not only does this ruling help save an $8 billion industry, and thousands of jobs, but it also gives adult consumers and veterans continued access to hemp-based cannabis products that have become vital to their everyday lives.”
The legal saga began when the DSHS moved to classify delta-8 and other THC isomers as Schedule I controlled substances in 2021, causing panic in the hemp industry and forcing stores to remove these products from their shelves. Hometown Hero CBD filed a lawsuit against the state agency, ultimately leading to the injunction.
The state’s decision to enforce the ban stemmed from the U.S Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) 2020 update to its list of controlled substances, aligning it with the 2018 Farm Bill, which federally legalized hemp with less than 0.3% delta-9 THC. Delta-8 THC, often seen as a milder cousin of delta-9, was legalized under these terms, resulting in its widespread availability in Texas.
Hometown Hero and its legal team argued that the DEA merely adjusted its list to conform to the federal hemp law, which, in their view, didn’t trigger any state action. They also claimed that the state failed to provide proper notice and hearings about the change. Although a notice was posted in September 2020, titled “Objection to Implementing DEA Rule Changes,” it wasn’t easily discoverable, as it was not text-searchable in the state’s register.
The state’s amendment of entries for THC and “marihuana extract” to include THC isomers prompted the legal battle. After securing an injunction to halt the ban, Hometown Hero CBD successfully defended its position in the appeals court.
While the state has the option to bring the case to the Texas Supreme Court, the likelihood of this happening appears slim. Notably, the Texas Supreme Court already declined to continue the ban in a prior stage of the lawsuit. Furthermore, legal considerations and potential conflicts of interest within the state make it unlikely that the case will be pursued further.
Despite the legal victory, Hometown Hero remains prepared to continue its fight to ensure the legality of delta-8 and other hemp-derived cannabinoids in Texas, particularly for those who rely on these products for their well-being, such as veterans and various other groups within the state.