delta-8 THC: white man with dark beard and short hair in a gray suit with white shirt and yellow tie standing behind a brown podium with mic
Andrew Turnage, the executive director of the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission, speaks to the House Regulated Industries Committee about delta-8 THC. (Screenshot from committee meeting)

The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission raised concerns about a cannabis product referred to as Delta-8 THC before the House Regulated Industries Committee Monday. 

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Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive substance that naturally occurs in low amounts in the cannabis plant, including hemp, which Congress legalized in 2018. Delta-8 can be extracted from hemp-derived CBD and concentrated into a more potent intoxicant. 

Because it is extracted from hemp and contains less than the legal limit of the cannabinoid delta-9 THC associated with marijuana, Delta-8 products are largely considered legal and sold openly.   

The Food and Drug Administration has warned the public against using Delta-8, saying its effects have not been evaluated and some products contain chemical contamination from manufacturing.

Andrew Turnage, the executive director of the commission, said synthesized Delta-8 THC is circulating in Georgia in a “parallel market” to the legal cannabis industry but with no regulations. 

Turnage warned the committee that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration “has not defined synthetically derived products.” 

“What this results in is an unregulated product,” he added.

Minors can access the drug without restriction in some convenience stores, he said, creating concerns for parents. He requested legislation to define synthetic drug products and remove any loopholes that allow Delta-8 THC sales in stores without regulation. 

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