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Legal things that get you high

Drugs containing one or more chemical substances that produce similar effects to drugs like cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy — and formerly known as 'legal highs'.

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More and more studies show kids are looking inside their homesat the grocery store, online and in other everyday places to find household items to get high off of.

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Texas has one of the most restrictive medical marijuana laws in the country, with sales allowed only by prescription for a handful of conditions. His company sells ts, blunts, gummy bears, vaping devices and tinctures that offer a recreational high.

In fact, business is booming online as well, where he sells to many people in other states with strict marijuana laws. But Gilkey said that he is no outlaw and that he is not selling marijuana, just a close relation.

He is offering products with a chemical compound — DeltaTHC — extracted from hemp. It is only slightly chemically different from Delta 9, which is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

New psychoactive substances

And that small distinction, it turns out, may make a big difference in the eyes of the law. Under federal law, psychoactive Delta 9 is explicitly outlawed. But DeltaTHC from hemp is not, a loophole that some entrepreneurs say allows them to sell it in many states where hemp possession is legal.

A once-ignored derivative of hemp has become a hot-seller for people looking for a loophole around marijuana laws. The rise of Delta 8 is a case study in how industrious cannabis entrepreneurs are pulling apart hemp and marijuana to create myriad new product lines with different marketing angles. They are building brands from a variety of potencies, flavors and strains of THC, the intoxicating substance in cannabis, and of CBD, the nonintoxicating compound that is often sold as a health product.

It is not quite that simple, though. Federal agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, are still considering their options for enforcement and regulation. Still, experts in the cannabis industry said Delta 8 sales had indeed exploded.

Marijuana and hemp are essentially the same plant, but marijuana has higher concentrations of DeltaTHC — and, as a source of intoxication, it has been a main focus of entrepreneurs as well as state and federal lawmakers.

Delta 8, if discussed at all, was an esoteric, less potent byproduct of both plants. That changed with the Farm Bill, an enormous piece of federal legislation that, among other things, legalized widespread hemp farming and distribution.

Because the legislation made no mention of Delta 8, entrepreneurs leapt into the void and began extracting and packaging it as a legal edible and smokable alternative. Precisely what kind of high Delta 8 produces depends on whom you ask. Joe Salome owns the Georgia Hemp Co. Salome said that he did not need to buy an expensive state to sell medical marijuana because he felt protected by the farm bill.

The legal landscape is contradictory at best. Many states are more permissive than the federal government, which under the Controlled Substances Act considers marijuana an illegal and highly dangerous drug. In 36 states, marijuana is legal for medicinal use. In 14 states, it is legal for recreational use.

Types of drugs

But in a flip, under the farm bill, the federal government opened the door for the sale of hemp products even in states that have not legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Only a few states, like Idaho, ban hemp altogether, but in others, entrepreneurs of Delta 8 are finding a receptive market.

Steel noted that when making a Delta 8 product, it can be hard, if not impossible, to filter out all the Delta 9 from hemp. Lisa Pittman, the other co-chair of the cannabis business group at Coats Rose, said that in her reading of the issue, the authors of the farm bill may not have contemplated the consequences of the law.

A veteran of the U. Coast Guard, Gilkey worked in a counternarcotics unit on boats out of San Diego.

Drugs penalties

He wound up running a business in Austin that sold e-liquid for vaping devices. Then inhe started his current business focused on selling CBD. Late last spring, he said, he started getting calls from customers about Delta 8.

Gilkey, whose company supplies other retail shops around the country with products, saw a huge opportunity. After checking with the lawyers, he started full-scale packaging gummies and vape pens and other products using Delta 8 he said he got from a major hemp supplier.

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