Bill to ban underage sale of Delta-8 and other cannabinoids filed in the Alabama Senate

Recently filed legislation seeks to ban commonly found psychoactive cannabinoids for persons under 21.

Senate Bill 66 (SB66) is sponsored by State Sen. Tim Melson (R-Florence). Similar to a bill filed by Melson in 2022, SB66 seeks to ban the sale, distribution, marketing, or possession of psychoactive cannabinoids derived from or found in hemp to any individual under 21.

It would also levy a 5% tax on the gross proceeds of selling products containing psychoactive cannabinoids. 

Melson had previously introduced legislation to add Delta-8 to the banned substances list in Alabama, but the bill was buried in a committee. 

The bill focuses on the proliferation of legally available psychoactive compounds available for purchase at thousands of stores across the state, mainly Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, THC-0 and others.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as Delta-8 THC, is a psychoactive substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Cannabis plants have two varieties: marijuana and hemp. 

The typical psychoactive cannabinoid that the federal government outlaws found in traditional marijuana that gets people “high” is classified as Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). There are over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. The THC found in marijuana is classified as a controlled substance, but the THC found in the hemp plant is expressly exempted from the prohibition. 

Delta-8 is processed specifically from the flowers and stems of the hemp plant, a derivative of the popular medicinal hemp extract, cannabidiol oil (CBD).

Delta-10 THC and THC-0 are similarly produced psychoactive cannabinoids processed from CBD; all are psychoactive.

The World Health Organization defines “psychoactive drugs” as substances that affect mental processes like perception, consciousness, cognition, mood or emotions when taken in or administered into one’s system.

CBD is a popular product that many find has the medicinal effects of marijuana without the high or intoxicated aftereffect. 

CBD can be distilled and concentrated into slightly less psychoactive products. Delta-8 and similar cannabinoids are sold over the counter at vape stores, head shops, and gas stations across the state. 

Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC and THC-0 come in several forms, such as vape pens, gummies, candies, baked goods, and more.

Melson’s bill passed the Senate in March 2022 but failed to receive any deliberation in the House.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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