As our society continues to evolve, we are further from the days when cannabis was illegal in not just the U.S. but many locations around the world. Yet, as new generations replace the old, we have altered our views and broken the chains of the propaganda around cannabis.
Today, marijuana is legal in many states for recreational and medicinal use, with hemp legal in all 50. While it is easy to forget about the long and treacherous journey that brought us accessible and safe products, we must continue to discuss and enlighten those around us about the path that Delta-9 THC took to reach legalization.
THE LEGAL BATTLE BETWEEN CANNABIS AND PROPAGANDA
Cannabis has been used for thousands of years, but in the United States, this relationship dates back to the Colonial Era. Early records indicate that not only were the colonies producing hemp, but they were encouraged too because it was a key crop used to create an array of products, such as paper, ropes, and clothing.
For generations, the United States solely produced cannabis for making items. Americans were unaware that they could consume it in other ways, until the Mexican Revolution in 1910. As immigrants and refugees fled from Mexico, they settled in the U.S., where they began to introduce their culture and practices, with one of them including the recreational side of cannabis.
In turn, this introduction had a negative reaction due to fear and prejudice. From 1914-1925, a total of 26 states passed laws to prohibit the production of cannabis. As campaigners turned to make it illegal across the U.S., they continued to place propaganda in the news that would associate immigrants and violence with cannabis.
Within a few years, the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 passed, making the production of it heavily taxed, which in the end, made it not economically viable. Over 30 years later, the federal government placed marijuana on the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, where it is still placed today.
MOVE ASIDE, IT’S MEDICINAL
Based on the history above, it is no surprise that it took as long as it did to have access to medicinal marijuana, but with time, even this was possible.
In 1996, the first state that authorized medicinal marijuana was California. Less than five years later, AL, OR, WA, ME, CO, HI, NV passed medicinal laws. While states have slowly followed this trend, only 36 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have made medical marijuana programs available.
The states that offer these programs will give patients access to medicinal-only cannabis dispensaries, lower cost, higher possession limits, and stronger legal protection. To be eligible for medicinal use, you must have qualifying conditions. Some may include AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, etc.
RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA, WHERE TO FIND IT
Medicinal marijuana was the initial step for social acceptance surrounding cannabis. While it is easy to assume that California would be the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, it was actually Colorado and Washington. This was a big move for the cannabis industry because there tends to be a trickling effect when one state passes a law.
While other states did and continue to take their time in response to legalizing recreational marijuana, it is currently legalized in a total of 19 states and the District of Columbia. If you are a resident of these states, you can enter any dispensary and purchase marijuana-derived Delta-9 THC products. But if you don’t live in an area with recreational marijuana, you may want to know—can you buy legal Delta-9 anywhere else? Yes, but it’s not marijuana-derived, it’s hemp-derived.
THE POWER OF THE 2018 FARM BILL
Historically, we knew the potential that cannabis had to offer, more specifically, what hemp has to offer. However, hemp and marijuana were considered the same thing, despite them having one key difference. A marijuana plant naturally produces high levels of Delta-9 THC, whereas hemp contains a much lower amount.
While some states did legalize hemp for industrial and personal use, there was still a tainted picture behind marijuana, and to make matters worse, federal law saw marijuana and hemp as the same thing. This means they both remained as a Schedule l Drug—until the 2018 Farm Bill.
In December 2018, Congress came up with the 2018 Farm Bill, voted on it, and then President Donald Trump authorized it. This decision was pivotal for the cannabis industry, because not only did this bill legally separate marijuana and hemp, it also legalized the sale, distribution, and production of hemp products on a federal level. According to federal law, a hemp product can contain up to 0.3% of hemp-derived Delta-9 THC on a dry weight basis.
Before this bill, a small portion of states had legalized hemp, but after this bill, legislatures around the country revised their hemp policy to align with federal law. Jumping to today, you can find hemp products available in all 50 states with fewer restrictions than marijuana.
For example, marijuana is still considered a Schedule l Drug and is federally illegal. Because of this, marijuana cannot cross state lines, be shipped, or purchased with a debit or credit card, but hemp doesn’t have these restrictions. In fact, with hemp, you can do all of this.
BUYING HEMP-DERIVED DELTA-9 HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER
Since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, authorized retailers across the country have set up shop and have sold thousands of products to customers. Whether you are looking for CBD or hemp-derived Delta-9 THC, you can find most of these products at CBD stores or smoke shops, but hemp-derived Delta-9 hasn’t risen in popularity until this past year.
If you have heard of full-spectrum CBD, you are aware that this oil has hemp-derived Delta-9, and for a while, that was primarily the only product with Delta-9 from hemp. However, with time, manufacturers have crafted their own line of merchandise for those looking for an experience focused on hemp-derived Delta-9. But how do you find the brands with the best quality edibles?
Shopping for quality doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does take time. Some basic qualifications that suggest a product is safe will be lab tested, have positive customer feedback, and produced from a solidified company.
Although hemp and marijuana have had to endure a long journey to get here, we are all living in a society that notices the advantages of cannabis. Whether you are looking to add something into your daily routine or want something to help you unwind after a long day, hemp has given us all the ability to go back to our roots and connect with our past.