When the 2018 Farm Bill passed, the U.S. legalized hemp-derived THC products nationwide, so long as they meet the legal definition of “hemp.” When the 2018 Farm Bill passed, the U.S. legalized hemp-derived THC products nationwide, so long as they meet the legal definition of “hemp.” But with nearly 40 states and counting expanding access to medical and recreational marijuana, citizens in Alabama and across the country may wonder how legal delta-9 THC is in their home state.
Federal law allows consumers nationwide to purchase and use delta-9 products containing no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC per dry weight and sourced from hemp plants that meet the same THC concentration limits. More recently, Alabama legalized medical marijuana for qualifying patients participating in the state’s new medical marijuana program.
However, Alabama has not yet allowed dispensaries to open, and consumers can only purchase delta-9 products sourced from cannabis from licensed retailers. This means that, currently, Alabama citizens can only legally purchase delta-9 products that are hemp-derived and contain less than 0.3% THC – otherwise, the product is illegal.
Read everything you need to know about Alabama’s marijuana laws and what the latest regulations say about delta-9 THC.
- Delta-9 THC is federally legal and legal in Alabama if the product is sourced from hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC per dry weight.
- Hemp-derived delta-9 THC and delta-9 THC from marijuana are the same.
- Alabama has a medical marijuana program that allows qualifying patients to purchase legal higher potency THC products, but it won’t go into effect until late 2023.
What is Delta 9?
Delta-9 THC, or simply THC, causes the intoxicating psychoactive effects associated with consuming marijuana. It is the most abundant chemical in cannabis, which includes hemp and marijuana plants as varieties. Different cultivars - strains - of cannabis produce different amounts of THC potency, with some more or less psychoactive than others.
The hemp plant differs from other cannabis varieties due to its deficient concentrations of delta-9 THC, often because it is produced for industrial or agricultural use. Per the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), hemp can legally contain no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC per dry weight.
Despite where it’s sourced from, delta-9 THC is the same chemical - federal law limits the amount of delta-9 present in cannabis plants and governs what can be sold to consumers.
Hemp-Derived Delta-9 vs. Cannabis-Derived THC
The main difference between cannabis and hemp-derived delta-9 THC lies in the source material and extraction process used. The USDA allows for the cultivation of hemp plants nationwide, and marijuana is still a Schedule I controlled substance. As such, many companies will extract the delta-9 THC in their products from hemp plants.
Besides the dry weight differences, hemp-derived delta-9 THC and that sourced from cannabis are the same chemical. THC from hemp plants, in high enough amounts, can still produce intoxicating psychoactive effects and can be consumed via products including:
- Smokable flower
- Vapes and cartridges
- Concentrates such as live rosin or resin
- Edibles, such as infused gummies
However, consumers may only purchase a product with higher concentrations of THC if they live in a medically or recreationally legal state; otherwise, only products that contain 0.3% THC per dry weight are legal. The phrase “dry weight” matters, as the Farm Bill doesn’t provide specific guidance for delta-9 products such as tinctures or edibles. As such, some manufacturers can produce “legal” higher potency products that yield similar psychoactive effects to delta-9 THC goods found at state dispensaries.
Is Delta-9 Legal in Alabama?
Medical marijuana patients in Alabama with a valid ID card will be able to access delta-9 cannabis products such as capsules, tinctures, lotions, and inhalers once the state’s medical marijuana program comes into full effect – likely in late 2023. Vaporizers, smokable flower, and edibles are illegal in Alabama and will not be sold when dispensaries open.
Hemp-derived delta-9 THC products are legal in Alabama so long as they contain less than 0.3% THC per dry weight and are sourced from hemp plants that meet federal guidelines per the 2018 Farm Bill. It’s important to use your best discretion when purchasing these products, as some manufacturers use creative loopholes to evade these requirements that might place purchasers on the wrong side of the law.
Outside of the legalized medical marijuana program and hemp-derived products, delta-9 THC is illegal in Alabama.
Alabama Marijuana Laws
Alabama legalized medical cannabis in 2012 when Governor Kay Ivey signed Senate Bill 46, which established a system for growers and processors to create medical marijuana products and began plans to develop a state-wide medical marijuana industry. The bill also created the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission to oversee the program and create regulatory frameworks.
The program hopes to launch in late 2023; until then, Alabama consumers may only legally acquire cannabis if it meets the legal definition of hemp-derived delta-9 THC.
Where to Buy Delta-9 in Alabama
Those looking for hemp-derived delta-9 THC products in Alabama have a variety of sources from which to select. Most health-food stores or pharmacies, such as Whole Foods or Walgreens, have a few options for hemp-derived delta-9 THC. These products are helpful for those seeking a natural way to manage stress, soothe muscle soreness or pain, or simply relax at the day’s end.
Unfortunately, those who need higher-potency cannabis products must wait until the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission allows legalized dispensaries to open and distribute products with more THC content. Once open, Alabama residents will be able to purchase tinctures, topicals, capsules, and inhaler marijuana products.
For those who prefer online shopping, our Evn store offers a collection of hemp-derived delta-9 products and other CBD options and ships to all 50 states, including Alabama.
Disclaimer: This article was last updated in April 2023 and reflects federal and state legal information as of this date. Cannabis laws in the U.S. are continually shifting; therefore, the information in this article is subject to change. The information in this article does not constitute legal advice, and no entity at EVN-CBD is claiming to provide legal advice. Please visit your official state website for more information on your state’s cannabis laws and regulations.