Police seized 200 items from the sales floor of a CBD shop in Pell City, Alabama, during a May 13 raid, reports Advance Local Alabama.
A Pell City police lieutenant told the news outlet law enforcement had a warrant to search the shop, Sky Vape & CBD. Police believe the products they seized contain illegal amounts of THC.
The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, which oversees tobacco licensing, assisted in the probe, according to Advance Local Alabama. The seized stock will be sent to a laboratory for further testing.
It was not immediately clear whether law enforcement was concerned about delta-9 THC, which is illegal in Alabama and federally, or hemp-derived THC isomers, which are legal under the 2018 Farm Bill.
Delta-8 THC in Alabama
Hemp-derived THC isomers remain legal in Alabama and under federal law.
The 2018 Farm Bill explicitly listed delta-9 THC as a controlled substance, leaving other isomers unregulated. The products you’ll find on shelves typically contain THC that’s been converted from CBD in a lab process, although delta-8 does occur naturally in cannabis plants in small amounts.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration told the Alabama Board of Pharmacy in September 2021 that delta-8 THC is not a controlled substance if extracted from hemp. In the letter, the chief of the DEA’s Drug & Chemical Evaluation Section said the Controlled Substances Act excludes hemp-derived THCs as long as the delta-9 THC concentration doesn’t exceed 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.
Because of the way the 2018 Farm Bill is written, only delta-9 THC or THC synthetically produced from non–cannabis materials are considered controlled substances. Delta-8 products are produced in labs, but because they’re made from CBD extracted from cannabis plants they fall outside the DEA’s authority.
An Alabama lawmaker in February introduced a bill to ban delta-8 THC products. He later scrapped it, saying he would draft a bill restricting sales to adults 18 and older. The bill died in the legislature.
Similar Raids Have Happened in Other States
Georgia: At least two distribution warehouses were raided in Gwinnett County in late February. The searches started after the county’s district attorney issued a warning to businesses in January saying it would start criminally charging retailers selling delta-8 and delta-10 THC. In March, however, a judge granted a temporary restraining order stopping the DA from further searches and seizures, saying the actions could be those of a “rogue DA.” In Madison County, a judge ordered the sheriff’s office to return $30,000 in product and $3,000 cash to a delta-8 retailer raided in November 2021.
Kansas: CBD shops were raided in Topeka in late April, with law enforcement targeting hemp-derived THC. Shop owners maintain that their products are legal according to state and federal law. One shop publicly called the raids illegal, saying the search and seizures were based on misguided information from the Kansas attorney general.