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South Carolina Weed Legality: Is Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 THC, and THCA Legal?

John Carter

Written by: John Carter

Updated on June 8, 2024

South Carolina Weed Legality

Is Delta 9 Legal in South Carolina?

Yes, Delta 9 THC is legal in South Carolina under specific conditions. According to state law, particularly South Carolina House Bill 3449, hemp-derived Delta 9 THC products are legal if they contain less than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis. This state law aligns with the 2018 Farm Bill, which federally legalized all cannabinoids and products derived from hemp under the same THC concentration threshold.

However, enforcement of this law varies significantly by local jurisdiction. In places like Greenville County, local authorities have taken a more restrictive approach. For instance, officials have declared that any hemp product that produces a psychoactive effect, regardless of its THC content, is considered illegal. This has led to raids on stores and arrests of proprietors selling THC products perceived to exceed legal limits or induce psychoactive effects.

Therefore, while hemp-derived Delta 9 THC products are technically legal in South Carolina, practical legality can vary based on local enforcement practices. Sellers and consumers must navigate these legal nuances carefully, particularly in areas with stricter local interpretations and enforcement of THC regulations.

South Carolina House Bill 3449

SECTION 46-55-10

(6) “Federally defined THC level for hemp” means a delta-9 THC concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis, or the THC concentration for hemp defined in 7 U.S.C. SECTION 5940, whichever is greater.

(7) “Handling” means possessing or storing hemp for any period of time. “Handling” also includes possessing or storing hemp in a vehicle for any period of time other than during its actual transport from the premises of a licensed person to cultivate or process industrial hemp to the premises of another licensed person. “Handling” does not mean possessing or storing finished hemp products.

(8) “Hemp” or “industrial hemp” means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the nonsterilized seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with the federally defined THC level for hemp. Hemp shall be considered an agricultural commodity.

(9) “Hemp products” means all products with the federally defined THC level for hemp derived from, or made by, processing hemp plants or hemp plant parts, that are prepared in a form available for commercial sale, including, but not limited to, cosmetics, personal care products, food intended for animal or human consumption, cloth, cordage, fiber, fuel, paint, paper, particleboard, plastics, and any product containing one or more hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol. Unprocessed or raw plant material, including non sterilized hemp seeds, is not considered a hemp product.

Is Delta 8 Legal in South Carolina?

Under federal law, Delta 8 THC is legal as long as the Delta 9 THC content does not exceed 0.3%. However, in South Carolina, particularly in Greenville County, the legality of products containing Delta 8 and Delta 10 THC is highly contested and subject to strict enforcement measures.

Authorities in Greenville County have indicated that they will prosecute sellers of Delta 8 and Delta 10 products, due to the legal gray area these compounds fall into. Local law enforcement officers, such as 13th Circuit Solicitor Walter Wilkins and Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis, have expressed that any cannabis-derived product that can induce a psychoactive “high” is considered illegal, regardless of its THC content. This suggests that enforcement is focused not just on the legal THC limit but also on the psychoactive potential of the product.

This crackdown and the legal uncertainties surrounding Delta 8 and Delta 10 compounds have led many retailers in Greenville County to remove these products from their shelves to avoid the risk of prosecution. The local drug enforcement unit’s active measures, including sending warning letters and conducting product tests, underscore a strict enforcement regime against what they perceive as a public health crisis caused by these substances.

The legal landscape in South Carolina regarding Delta 8 and Delta 10 remains contentious and is subject to interpretations that could eventually lead to significant legal disputes, as noted by legal experts in the region. Thus, while Delta 8 and Delta 10 are not outright illegal at the state level, their sale and distribution can lead to legal challenges and potential prosecution under current enforcement practices in certain parts of South Carolina.

Is THCA Legal in South Carolina?

The legality of THCA in South Carolina is nuanced and requires careful consideration due to the potential for conversion to Delta-9 THC through decarboxylation. While THCA itself is not psychoactive and not explicitly illegal, its legality hinges on its potential transformation into psychoactive THC when heated.

South Carolina generally aligns with federal guidelines which permit hemp-derived cannabinoids under the condition that Delta-9 THC concentrations remain below 0.3%, as specified by the 2018 Farm Bill. Thus, under these guidelines, THCA derived from hemp with THC levels below this threshold is permissible. However, South Carolina does not explicitly legalize THCA, reflecting a cautious approach typical of its stringent cannabis laws.

Despite THCA being considered federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, South Carolina’s strict stance on cannabis and its derivatives means that THCA products are subject to scrutiny. This cautious state approach emphasizes compliance with THC concentration limits and proper labeling to prevent any legal repercussions.

The complex regulatory environment in South Carolina, coupled with its generally conservative stance on cannabis-related products, suggests that while THCA is not classified as a controlled substance and may be derived from legally compliant hemp, stakeholders—such as businesses and consumers—must navigate this space carefully to ensure compliance with both state and federal regulations.

What are the Difference between Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 THC, and THAC?

What is Delta 9 THC?

Delta-9 THC is the major naturally-occurring intoxicating component of the cannabis plant. When someone smokes or consumes delta-9 THC beyond a certain threshold, they typically experience a “high.” This compound is known for its strong psychoactive effects, which can alter perception, mood, and consciousness. In states where delta-9 THC is legal, cannabis dispensaries offer delta-9 THC products in many forms, including gummies, cookies, candies, infused beverages, tinctures, vaping cartridges, topical lotions, and pre-rolled “joints.”

Some manufacturers market delta-9 THC products as able to treat or mitigate symptoms of certain medical conditions or diseases. However, the FDA has approved only two synthetic THC formulations—dronabinol and nabilone, which are used to alleviate chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Nabilone is also used to increase appetite in patients with AIDS, highlighting the medical potential of THC despite limited federal endorsement.

What is Delta 8 THC?

Delta-8 THC is similar to delta-9 THC, a compound found in the cannabis plant that produces a high. However, delta-8 THC has a different chemical structure and is usually synthetically made, leading to different and often milder effects. It produces feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and potential pain relief, but these are typically less intense than those caused by delta-9 THC.

The production and use of delta-8 THC often involve converting CBD or delta-9 THC into delta-8 THC synthetically, which is illegal in many areas due to regulatory status and safety concerns. Additionally, there are safety concerns about synthetic production and the lack of regulation, including potential risks of additional synthetic by-products in products containing delta-8 THC. Consumers should be cautious of these risks and the legal status of delta-8 products in their regions.

What is THCA?

THCA, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is a cannabinoid compound found in cannabis plants. It is the non-psychoactive precursor to THC, the psychoactive component known for its euphoric effects. THCA itself does not produce psychoactive effects until it is decarboxylated, typically through heating, which converts THCA into THC. This property makes THCA a unique compound within the cannabis plant.

THCA offers potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. While more research is needed to fully understand its medical applications, many people consume THCA through raw cannabis or juicing. This consumption method allows individuals to gain the potential health benefits without experiencing the psychoactive effects associated with THC, making it an appealing option for those seeking relief without impairment.

Difference Between Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 THC, and THCA

Now let’s compare Delta 9 THC, Delta 8 THC, and THCA in terms of their chemical properties, psychoactive effects, and legal status. The table below succinctly illustrates these differences:

Compound Psychoactive Legal Status Common Use
Delta 9 THC Yes Legal in some states, illegal federally Recreational and medical use (intoxication)
Delta 8 THC Milder effect In a legal gray area; varies by state Medicinal and recreational (less intense)
THCA No Legal if sourced from hemp with THC <0.3% Health supplements, non-intoxicating benefits

Legal Disclaimer

The content provided on this website is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice or as a definitive statement of the law. While we strive to maintain accurate and up-to-date information, the legal status of the topics discussed can vary by state and may change over time. Consequently, the information provided here may not reflect the most current legal developments. We do not encourage or discourage the purchase of any products based on the information presented. Before making any decisions related to legal matters, we strongly advise consulting with a qualified attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

John Carter
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