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Uruguay Planning to Open Cannabis Tourism Market

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Uruguay was the first country in modern times to take the plunge and legalize recreational cannabis, which it did back in 2013. Now, Uruguay is looking to up the ante with plans to open a cannabis tourism market to bolster the industry further.

Uruguay is looking to step up its recreational cannabis legalization by opening a cannabis tourism market. Pretty cool, huh? The bigger the industry gets, the more products available to consumers, and this means more great additions like delta-8 THC, THCA, and CBN, and more places to use them. The world of weed is getting wider, and you can benefit. Check out our array of deals for delta-8 THC along with many other compounds, such as  delta 10 THCVTHC-OHHC and even hemp-derived delta-9 THC. Subscribe below and take advantage of the growing list of available products:

Liberalism in Uruguay

Uruguay was the first country to legalize the use of recreational cannabis, creating the world’s first adult-use market in 2013. This happened when then-President Jose Mujica officially signed legislation in December of that year. Prior to this time, Uruguay was still one of the more liberal countries when it came to drug laws, having decriminalized all drugs back in 1974 for personal use.

When that law was enacted (law 14.294), it did not specify how much accounted for personal use – called a ‘minimum quantity’, and judges were left to make that assessment on a case-by-case basis. Growing, selling, and any sort of trafficking crime, were still illegal at that time. In 1998 the law was updated with a change in language from ‘minimum quantity’ which it had been since 1974, to ‘reasonable quantity’, a similarly non-specific term for how much a person can possess without criminal penalties. This law also reduced the consequences for offenders caught growing and selling cannabis illegally.

It’s probably good to point out that Uruguay has consistently been more liberal than other South American countries, which might explain how it got to legalization, when no one else had. Latin America is generally seen as a very Christian area, where there is sometimes a large connection between church and state. In the case of Uruguay, that connection was severed back in 1918. Similarly, women were given the right to vote as early as 1932. Uruguay even holds the designation of being one of only three countries in Latin America to allow abortion, first decriminalizing it in 2008, and then legalizing it without question in the first trimester, in 2012. That same year, the country voted in same sex marriage, with a full legalization in 2013.

liberalism in Uruguay

Cannabis legalization in Uruguay

As stated, in 2013, Uruguay broke with the rest of the world and formally legalized recreational cannabis. As per the usual, the legalization didn’t come with the framework for regulation, which took another few years, and was released in 2017. Uruguay is the only legalized location thus far to institute a government-run system rather than a free market, meaning the government is in control of all distribution and pricing.

Uruguay’s cannabis law stipulates the following: citizens are allowed to grow up to six plants every year, or up to 480 grams, whichever comes first. Social clubs can be formed with 15-45 members wherein 99 plants can be grown. In order to buy cannabis from the government, a citizen must register first, and cannabis is only sold through licensed pharmacies. Participants registered in the system can buy up to 40 grams a month, and there is no promotion or advertising allowed.

Uruguay’s main reason for legalizing marijuana was to combat the illegal drug trade. Latin America is known for its drug trafficking and drug violence, and Uruguay wanted to cut into the cannabis black market, by diverting it to a legal one. In the words of President Mujica at the time the idea was initially brought up, “The effects of drug trafficking are worse than those of the drugs themselves.” Even decriminalization proved a complicated idea, as allowing the use of something for which there is no legal way to obtain it, means the encouragement of a black market.

Whereas Canada, and many US states, legalized for similar reasons, no other legalized location has instituted a government-run model, and in no other case has the price of cannabis been kept so low. As of early 2020, the price for a gram was about $1.23 USD, far less than anywhere else. To be clear, users aren’t given a large array of strains to choose from, and none of them are high-THC. Even so, by early 2020, approximately 41,000 users were registered, there were over 8,000 home-growers, 158 cannabis clubs had popped up with a combined total of about 5,000 members, and users have three clear legal avenues to obtain cannabis: pharmacies, self-cultivation, and cannabis clubs. According to 2020 statistics, May 2020 saw the sale of approximately 87,000 grams, and April 2020 had sales of nearly 100,000 grams.

Uruguay and a new plan for a cannabis tourism market

Uruguay wants to further control the issue of the black market in the country, and has proposed a way to do both that, and to bolster the cannabis industry further. The new plan for Uruguay is to open a cannabis tourism market, to keep visitors coming into the country from buying black market weed. Uruguay has done a lot to limit the black market, but gangs still prevail, and the black market still claimed as much as 89% of cannabis business in 2020. Plus, the country has yet to reach $10 million USD in exports, partly challenged by a growing international market with tons of competition.

To be fair, exports did more than double by 2020, to hit $7.5 million, but this is far less than the hoped for hundreds of millions which never materialized (and which was a bit unrealistic to begin with.) According to secretary general of the National Drugs Board, Daniel Radio, “I think there was excessive optimism regarding the possibilities of growth, because we aren’t playing alone here.” He went on to say, “Some investment is showing up in manufacturing and value-added processes. That has to be our bet, because it’s the only way Uruguay can be competitive.”

cannabis in Uruguay

Current President Luis Lacalle Pou and administration may even release a plan this year in order to start building support for such an initiative. And while the country is happy to provide cannabis to tourists, it’s primary aim is to keep those tourists from the black market. Uruguay’s population is only about 3.5 million, so the inclusion of foreigners could greatly increase the base of potential customers. Argentinians and Brazilians make up a large part of the tourist market each year. This has been impeded by the coronavirus pandemic, however, Uruguay expects to open its borders to vaccinated travelers by November 1st.

According to Deputy Tourism Minister Remo Monzeglio, this might come with a rise in prices for tourists, with proceeds going to fund drug treatment programs. Realistically, raising prices has proven to be a pitfall of the industry, so whether Uruguay, which has avoided that pitfall thus far, will actually do this, remains to be seen.

In terms of how all this is expected to be done, Monzeglio continued that a presidential decree would be a faster way to get tourists registered and buying at pharmacies. In order to formally drop the registering requirement, new legislation would have to be written.

Medical cannabis tourism

Uruguay isn’t the only country interested in a cannabis tourism market, in fact, it’s becoming all the rage. For years, Amsterdam held the title for the biggest cannabis tourism destination, but there are plenty of others, from Christiana in Copenhagen, Denmark, to Spain with its selection of cannabis clubs. Plenty of countries are also using the medical aspect to open medical cannabis tourism markets.

Last year, Thailand became the first Asian country to legalize medical cannabis, and though the country doesn’t seem to have any immediate intentions to go recreational, it is trying to build a medical cannabis tourism industry. As per Marut Jirasrattasiri, the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine Director, “Thailand is already a tourist destination for many foreigners, and marijuana will be another attraction for the country and for medical tourists.” In order to make this happen, draft legislation was created to allow foreigners access to Thai medical cannabis clinics, and possibly allow medical patients to bring their own cannabis with them.

The US Virgin Islands, also has its eye on grabbing the medical cannabis tourism market. Medical cannabis was made legal in the Virgin Islands in 2019, with provisions in the bill which allow for patients coming from locations with legalized cannabis, to access care in the Virgin Islands for a fee. The same bill also made it open to patients unable to access cannabis medicine in their home country, to enter treatment in an in-house cannabis treatment program.

medical marijuana tourism

Governor Albert Bryan Jr. was even looking to take it one step further, pushing an amendment for cannabis legalization, which didn’t use the word ‘recreational’, but instead called it ‘non-prescribed’. This amendment would have allowed the use of this ‘non-prescribed’ cannabis all throughout the Island. The bill didn’t make it through legislative sessions, as it was introduced last minute, but chances are it will come up again.

Jamaica is yet another country capitalizing on medical cannabis tourism. In Jamaica, cannabis was decriminalized in the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2015, which makes it so that up to two ounces incurs no criminal record, gives the ability for a person to grow up to five plants, opens up cannabis use for religious purposes, and allows for tourists to be eligible for cannabis permits so long as they already hold a prescription for medical cannabis.

The last part is globally inclusive, and shows the beginning of a push for a medical cannabis tourism market, along with a religious cannabis tourism market, helped along by Rastafari culture, which embraces cannabis. Jamaica is one of the first countries to provide a religious legalization, and that legalization extends to using cannabis freely in religious environments. Also a major point of interest for tourists, with the two combining to form a great basis for cannabis tourism in general.

Conclusion

Will Uruguay really embrace a new cannabis tourism market? Considering the country has already shown its willing to break with international and regional code when it comes to many subjects, and as it has already positioned itself as a trailblazer in cannabis legalization, it’s looking pretty promising. And who would expect less from the country that started it all, then to have a new innovative way to grow its industry?

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.





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Berlin

Exploring Cannabis Culture: Berlin – CBD Testers

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‘All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!’ – John F. Kennedy

In the latest article in our series on cannabis culture around the world, we’ll be flying over to Berlin. As you may know, we define cannabis culture as the way that cannabis can be perceived and treated within a society, city or country.’  Of course this doesn’t just mean Cannabis alone, but also includes all of the separate cannabinoids that we find in the Cannabis plant – CBD and THC for example – So polish of your lederhosen, find your 99 red balloons and prepare to ‘sprechen sie deutsch‘ as we jet over to the capital city of Germany and investigate the weed culture in Berlin.

Cannabis is gaining popularity across the globe. In Europe, the laws are still a bit more strict than in the United States, but in many regions, recreational marijuana use is quickly becoming the new norm. To learn more about changing regulations and emerging trends, make sure to subscribe to The Medical Cannabis Weekly Newsletter, your hub for all things cannabis-related, including more articles like this one and exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other legal products.

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Berlin 

Berlin is located on the river Spree in the North East of Germany. A large city, with a lot of history, its population is nearly 4 million, making it the biggest city in the European Union, though not in Europe. Founded in the 12th Century, Berlin has seen its fair share of historical events. Under Frederick the Great’s rule it became the centre of the Enlightenment, it was also home to the expressionist movement and of course was integral both during and after World War Two. Famously being split between the West, a more liberal and capitalist city and the East, part of the USSR where life was a lot bleaker and tough. The Berlin wall became an iconic, but tragic reminder of the differences between the East and the West especially during the war. It prompted artworks and songs, such as Lou Reed’s Berlin:

“In Berlin, by the wall

You were five foot ten inches tall

It was very nice

Candlelight and Dubonnet on ice”

Since the fall of the wall, Berlin has now become one of the most lively and happening places in Europe and is full of famous clubs, bars and sights to see making it an unmissable stop on anyone’s road-trip through Europe and it’s attitude to Cannabis and drugs has lead to it becoming a mainstay on any drug trip around Europe too.

Here are some of the top places to visit in Barcelona, the beautiful horizon, some famous sites and scenes to see.

The Berghain 

Arguably the most famous club not just in Berlin, but in the whole of Europe, the Berghain has become a icon of exclusivity. People call it a church, a way of life, an institution. It’s near impossible to get in as the bouncers will assess everybody and only allow those deemed to have the right vibe are allowed to enter. Once inside an incredible, techno dream awaits, where liberal attitudes to sex and drugs keep the party going from Saturday to Monday… If you can get in, it’s worth the wait.

The Reichstag

The seat of the German government, this building is an iconic symbol of what Berlin has been through. It’s been re-built, it housed the Nazis, it was bombed and now, with its glass centre, it’s a must visit part of the city. Make sure you book a trip to the very top of the glass dome for a view over Berlin.

Cannabis in Berlin

So, what is the cannabis culture like on the streets of Berlin? It appears that Berlin’s relationship with Cannabis dates back quite far. An urn from around 500BC was found containing Cannabis plants and seeds, suggesting that the city has an ancient connection to Cannabis. It is not a rare sight to see and smell people smoking cannabis around the city and the attitude towards drugs in general in Berlin is quite relaxed. However, the possession and selling of Cannabis in Germany is illegal. This doesn’t stop the millions of Germans from smoking Cannabis, Statista found that Germans were the joint tenth highest population in Europe, and other studies have shown a general increase in young people smoking cannabis in Germany and in Berlin too, so let’s examine the laws in Berlin in a little more detail.

Is It Legal?

Simply put, no… Cannabis possession and selling is not legal in Berlin or Germany. The German Federal Narcotics act made sure of that. If caught in possession of any drugs, including Cannabis, you could face up to five years in prison. But, whilst possessing the drug is listed as an offence, using it isn’t. If someone is caught smoking Cannabis, the punishment isn’t always that severe. Germany use a ‘treatment over punishment’ approach which means you’re more likely to get a telling off than a severe prison sentence if you’re found smoking cannabis. What’s more, the law actually says that if you’re caught with a ‘small amount’ then you’re not really committing an offence. The term small amount varies from region to region in Germany, but in Berlin it is up to 15 grams, the highest amount in the whole of Germany, again making Berlin the hot spot of the country.

Illegal

So possessing a small amount of cannabis is legal, but what happens if you’re caught with more than 15g in the city. The punishment for the possession of drugs can range from a $30,000 fine, to up to two years in prison. Under the Narcotics Act, Cannabis is listed as Appendix 1, what this means is that it’s in the least severe category of drugs, but still if found with a large amount, a prosecution can occur. Even though it is illegal, anecdotal accounts of smoking Cannabis in Berlin is that often the police don’t take notice, or if they do you are more likely going to be asked to give up the cannabis rather than being directly punished, much like in London and Barcelona too.

Legal 

Some forms of Cannabis consumption are actually legal in Germany and Berlin. As stated above, having a small amount of the drug means you’re likely to escape prosecution, but there are also other forms of legal cannabis you can acquire in the city. As with all members of the EU, the use and sale of CBD is totally legal, and there are loads of great CBD shops around the city offering all sorts of useful CBD products. Also, medical Cannabis has been legal since 2017. Medical Cannabis is available to pick up from the pharmacy with a prescription for patients on chemotherapy and with certain disorders and diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. This was pushed through after lobbying from the Left and Green parties in the country and shows the forward thinking attitudes towards the benefits of Cannabis in the city.

The City’s General Attitude to Cannabis 

Even though the laws are a little tough on drug use, Berlin has become famous for its relaxed nature around them. People go to Berlin to rave and party and it is very easy to acquire drugs in the city. There are a number of parades hosted in the city, such as the love parade and the hemp parade that celebrate the city’s attitude to drug culture and party lifestyles. 

The Love Parade

The Love parade started in 1989 as a political protest against the Berlin wall, but quickly ended up being one of the most famous celebrations of rave culture in the world. People openly smoke cannabis and take drugs in this marching celebration of all things rave, that makes its way through the city.

The Hemp Parade 

As the English homepage for the event states: The Hanfparade (“Hemp parade”) is the largest and most traditional march for Cannabis as medicine, natural resource and recreational drug in Germany.” The march celebrates Cannabis for all of its glorious reasons. Thousands of people protest in the city for the legalisation of the drug and enjoy music, food and all the fun of a festival whilst also raising awareness of the properties of the cannabis plant. Again, this shows the fun loving attitude and relaxed, positive view of Cannabis in Berlin.

The Hemp museum

In the centre of the city you can even find a hemp museum, celebrating the multitude of uses the plan has, from pharmaceuticals to medicines, the museum showcases just how brilliant the Cannabis plant and its products are and offers an optimistic view of a future that focuses on getting the best from Hemp and cannabis.

Conclusion

Berlin is a beautiful city, full of history and fun-loving city members. It’s seen its fair share of hardship over the many years of its existence, but now seems to be in a cultural glory decade, hosting some of the most famous clubs, the largest Cannabis marches and the most open minded attitude of most European cities. With the legalization of medical Cannabis, we can hope that over the next few years, the already relaxed attitude will grow even more so. Remember that if you visit the city, a ‘small amount’ is pretty much legal, but still do be careful as there’s a little way to go before complete legalization. Auf Wiedersehen… for now.

Thank you for stopping by CBD TESTERS, your top source for all things cannabis-related. Remember to subscribe to The Medical Cannabis Weekly Newsletter for more articles like this one and exclusive deals on flowers, vapes, edibles, and other products.





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Which Cannabis Cannabinoids Will Survive Into the Future?

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There are a ton of new cannabis products coming out all the time now, some with more relevance and staying power than others. Which will really survive this stage and go into the next? It’s hard to say. Some cannabis discoveries have caught on better than others. Which cannabinoids will survive the current industry, any new decriminalization or legalizations that might occur, and prosper into the future? This still remains to be seen.

Is delta-8 one of the cannabis cannabinoids that will make it into the future? Of all the alternate cannabinoids on the market, delta-8 is the most popular, and most likely to make it big. We’re ahead of the game with tons of delta-8 THC products and deals for you to look into. But delta-8 isn’t alone in the game, other hemp-derived THC products, such as delta-10 THCTHCVTHCO, THC-PHHC are also selling very well and might survive into the future.

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Cannabis cannabinoids

Everyone knows about delta-9 THC. This is the main psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant, and the part that makes a person feel euphoric. THC was first isolated in 1964 by Raphael Mechoulam, but it was first found by Roger Adams in the early 40’s, around the time that CBD was isolated. CBN was the first cannabinoid to be isolated, in an attempt to find the ‘intoxicating factor’ of cannabis, which it didn’t end up being. CBN was discovered by Thomas Easterfield at the end of the 1800’s.

Everyone also knows about CBD at this point, the other major cannabinoid of the cannabis plant, which is the primary cannabinoid of the low-THC hemp plants. Significantly less CBD is found in high-THC marijuana plants, and vice versa. CBD was discovered in 1940 by Roger Adams, although Alexander Todd discovered it at about the same time in the UK, making for dueling research and discoveries for several years.

The whole reason Roger Adams investigated cannabis at all, was at the behest of the US government. The US government, often through the military and CIA, has done all kinds of drug research and testing, from the Edgewood Arsenal Experiments, where THC-O-Acetate was given to military personnel, to MDMA tests during the Cold War era for use as psychological warfare. There are even various unconfirmed reports of unleashing chemicals like LSD in public places. That compounds like THC-O-Acetate and LSD were found on the streets at the time of such testing even indicates that street use might have been started by these organizations in an attempt to study the compounds further.

cannabis plant

This, of course, is supposition on my part, but in the 1940’s, the government did sponsor research into cannabis, with a main factor being the isolation of the intoxicating agent. In so doing this, and in the follow-up research when THC was isolated, several different cannabinoids were found, including other delta THC’s, like delta-8, delta-7, and delta-6, some naturally occurring, and some entirely synthetic. Other compounds were found around this time including CBL, CBC, and HHC.

Most of what has been mentioned are cannabinoids, but what exists in the actual cannabis plant, before decarboxylation, oxidation, or any other chemical process that changes the chemical structure, are phytocannabinoids. THCA and CBDA are the precursor acids to CBD and THC, and a range of other cannabinoids. These cannabinoid acids also have tons of medical benefits, but are different from their cannabinoid counterparts. THCA, for example, is not psychoactive, and does not cause the same response as its decarboxylated version, delta-9 THC.

Research into the cannabis plant has turned up tons of naturally occurring cananbinoids like delta-8 THC, THCV, CBC, CBG, and 11-hydroxy-THC, what delta-9 becomes after being ingested. There are also a range of purely synthetic compounds that can’t be found in nature. These include delta-10 THC, delta-7 THC, THC-O-Acetate, and HU 580.

How popular are these alternate cannabis cannabinoids?

This is an interesting question, and one without a formal answer, as there isn’t much data out on buying patterns for these products. This might be partly because this is an unregulated market, and a relatively new one, where that kind of information has not been collected as of yet. The best indication for establishing interest, come from individual sales statistics, mentions and conversations online, and overall population know-how about these compounds. Different researchers might turn up different opinions, since even these metrics involve personal research methods, and subjective analysis.

If a person is to blindly believe the marketing hype of an industry, delta-8 is about the biggest thing out there. But marketing campaigns are rarely real life, and looking at real metrics, (and over a period of time), is the better way of establishing where something actually fits into the grand scheme. Maybe delta-8 has raised in popularity, but if it has, will this be a passing fancy, to disappear in a year from now? And how big is this popularity to begin with?

It’s always good to remember that while it’s great to take the plant apart and find new ways to access different aspects of it, we never lose the original cannabis plant itself, which has been doing just fine keeping people happy for millennia. Whether these compounds really become stable market representatives or not, will likely do little to effect a worldwide cannabis industry that has propelled itself along, even under worldwide prohibition. This means, regardless of which currently out cannabis cannabinoids make it to the future, we’ll always have our standby.

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Sales statistics – there aren’t any

When it comes to sales, I don’t see any massive breakthrough reports about any of these compounds. Delta-8 THC gets the most press, but mainly only within the world of weed itself, and as a niche part of the cannabis market. For the most part, even delta-8 goes unnoticed in terms of sales statistics. Even in the articles where delta-8 is mentioned as a growing fad, none of them can offer any backup for this. In fact, an article like this one in Fortune Magazine, show this well. The article refers to delta-8 as the “fastest-growing segment of the market for hemp chemicals for roughly the last year.”

This makes it sound pretty big, right? But then it goes on to state that this happened only after “wholesale CBD prices plummeted amid oversupply and other issues.” This merely implies that with CBD leveling off (or possibly losing value), that delta-8 has taken its place as the top hemp chemical product. Even the comparison is weak, and shows a changing fad, from CBD to delta-8, with the inability to keep that trajectory long-term. Considering delta-8 isn’t likely to produce anything substantially new for users, the expectation of it getting to the point where it could threaten the longstanding regular cannabis industry, is sort of short-sighted.

One of the biggest indicators, which the authors of the Fortune article seemed to gloss over, is that if cannabis cannabinoids like delta-8 THC follow in the footsteps of CBD, they’re not going to make it into the future, especially if they don’t hit the same volume before leveling off. That CBD has lost momentum, is an indication that delta-8 is just a passing fancy too. 2021 numbers for CBD sales (when released) might help us understand how cannabis cannabinoids like delta-8 THC might fair in the future, better.

Mentions and conversations

Without sales statistics, one of the other ways to see how big something is, is simply in how much its mentioned and talked about. The internet is a huge place, so finding mentions of a subject is never that hard. But the questions become, how often is it mentioned, where is it mentioned, and what is being said? When it comes to delta-8 THC, the most popular of the alternate cannabis compounds, there are plenty of mentions online. Many of these mentions come from large scale publications that are non-cannabis related. Most mentions are of the fear variety, talking about the possible detriments, or mentioning new regulatory measures to keep it out. As an untaxed item with any amount of popularity, this makes sense. Delta-8 THC is undesirable for governments that can’t tax it.

But the general conversation is limited. Apart from what seem like pre-emptive fear-marketing campaigns, people aren’t talking about it all over the place. There aren’t a huge number of questions being asked, or reviews being given. Even a site like reddit, has some, but not too much. When I changed my search results to just the last month, only one reddit mention came up, and as a news article about issued warnings. A search for ‘Acapulco Gold’ turned up several mentions on Reddit just from the last month. And that says a lot. Since delta-8 proposes an issue to the government as an unregulated and untaxed product, the issues of legality and regulation are among the bigger talking points, when it does show up on-line.

Realistically, if the stuff is sitting on store shelves, at least some people are bound to buy it. Most of what’s written, however, seems like a reaction to the possibility of an out-of-control market, more than the reaction to an actually out-of-control market. This is also backed up by very few arrests being made, or government intervention beyond these articles.

cannabinoids

Do people know about it?

I find this question to be the most interesting one. It’s possible to get the wrong idea by something being seen online. It’s easy to forget how big the internet is, and how much is necessary to show real engagement with an industry or product. Marketers can fill internet pages with content that isn’t backed up by anything, and governments can put out campaigns in an effort to stop something before it starts. Neither has to indicate mass appeal, though they can be a factor in it. So, one of the best ways of assessing whether something has an influence, is to see if its actively influencing people. And this is where I see the biggest issue.

The vast majority of people have no idea what delta-8 THC is. Had I not been a writer in the cannabis industry, I probably wouldn’t know about it either. I know a lot of weed smokers, and somehow, not a single one has heard of this compound. First off, it’s only a US product that hasn’t gained popularity anywhere else, and that means we’re only looking at a US audience. On top of that, cannabis – as stated – is a stable industry, and its been there for a while. Even now it exists as bigger black markets than legal ones, which means, we already have a version we can use. It’s not like delta-8 is the answer to not being able to get any weed at all. We can all get it, and this will always be a roadblock to delta-8 sales.

Having said all this, I will point out one countering factor. Governments are making specific legislation to rule out delta-8 THC, even with other legalizations. This could indicate that sales are high enough to cause worry and necessitate these laws. But, it could also be a reactionary measure meant to stifle a possible industry, whether it would actually meet the potential indicated, or not. That it would be singled out by governments does say something for its existence, and ability for at least some popularity. However, even this doesn’t indicate that it’ll stick around.

Cannabinoids Future – Conclusion

None of this article really answers the question of what can be expected for all cannabis cannabinoids in the future. However, the most useful point comes from the fact that delta-8 seems to be following in the footsteps of CBD, which itself has been leveling off after a few years of being the golden product. If this is any indication, none of these products will last it out, not even delta-8 THC. In the end, there realistically isn’t a great reason for it. Does this mean it doesn’t have good or alternate benefits? No, it doesn’t mean that. But it’s also quite possible that the slightly lesser high and clearer head are more important  for medical patients, and might not be as desirable by those looking for a full effect. On top of that, reports of causing less anxiety have never been totally confirmed meaning it might not provide these effects the way we read about them.

Though this doesn’t mean something can’t catch on further, my best bet is that none of the newly released, bottom-feeding (let’s be honest) attempts to capture a greater part of the industry, will work. Alternate cannabis cannabinoids might be fun to try, but if they don’t provide a better answer, and if they come at a higher price, they’re likely to be dropped fast and never see the future. Luckily for us though, we’ll always have our regular weed. And if the last few years is any indication, our black markets for that aren’t going anywhere.

Welcome all! You’ve arrived at CBDtesters.co, the #1 online location for everything you want to know about cannabis and psychedelics-related news worldwide. Check us out daily to stay aware of the constantly-in-flux world of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and subscribe to the The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter, so you always hear every story first.

DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.





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2018 farm bill

Legal Delta-9 THC, Is It Worth It?

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The 2018 US Farm Bill created quite a stir by legalizing the production and manufacture of hemp products. With it came a possible loophole for products like delta-8 THC, which can be sourced from hemp. Now, that legal conundrum has gotten even more intense as products containing what is called ‘legal delta-9 THC’ are now available. Are these products legal? And are they worth it?

The world is definitely a changing place when legal delta-9 THC can be found on shelves. Truth is, it might not be completely legal, but it definitely is available. This is also true of compounds like delta-8 THC, delta-10, THCP, THCO, THCV, HHC and more. The cannabis world has gotten so big, that new products are coming out nearly every day. We’ve got a great overall selection of deals, and plenty of other products for you to check out and try for yourself.

Delta-9 THC

Delta-9 THC, sometimes just referred to erroneously as simply ‘THC’, is the primary psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant, and is responsible for the feelings of euphoria that come with use of the plant. Delta-9 is actually only a version of THC, which itself stands for tetrahydrocannabinols, and refers to several different compounds, not just delta-9. Often the term ‘THC’ will be used in place of ‘delta-9’, but in reality, the true name of the compound is not ‘THC’.

Plants that are higher in delta-9 than CBD, are called marijuana, with the federal cutoff being over .3% delta-9 in dry weight as the standard for ‘marijuana’. Cannabis with less delta-9 than this, is referred to as ‘hemp.’ Whereas hemp was legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill, high-THC marijuana, was not.

Delta-9 THC has been on the Controlled Substances list since its inception in 1970. Prior to that, the new age of prohibition started in 1937 with the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act, which stopped medicinal and recreational use, as well as stunting the hemp market. At that time, the hemp market contributed to tons of different industries, from building, to clothing, to paper, and so on. Delta-9 THC has this chemical formula: C₂₁H₃₀O₂, which is the same as CBD, as well as other cannabinoids like CBC (Cannabichromene) and CBL (cannabicyclo), and even the sex hormone progesterone.

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Is it legal?

No, and I’m going to be honest, I’m not sure where the debate on this one comes in. Here’s why… According to the 2018 US Farm Bill: ‘hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.’

This definition includes extracts, so if something is extracted, like delta-9, it couldn’t legally be extracted in a higher percent than .3. To make matters worse for the claim, not only does the definition apply to the plant in question for production, but all products produced from it, and all parts of the processing procedure. If the delta-9 amount rises above .3% at any given point, then the product becomes illegal. Since these products are above .3% delta-9, they are automatically illegal.

There has been an ongoing debate about compounds like delta-8 THC, a naturally occurring oxidized version of delta-9. Though delta-8 occurs naturally through this oxidation process, it occurs at extremely low rates. This means, in order to make products with it, it must be synthesized in a laboratory, and this can then mean the use of chemicals or processes that can be dangerous. Since delta-8 can’t simply be extracted, it brings up the question of whether it should be considered natural or synthetic. Sure it occurs naturally in nature, but any product we use of it is synthesized. As a synthetic, it’s automatically illegal. Of course, there are other issues with delta-8, but this is a big one.

The difference with delta-8 and delta-9 in this regard, is that delta-9 is specifically mentioned in the definition of hemp, and so there is no question. It doesn’t matter where delta-9 is produced from, as any product that has over .3% of it would be illegal anyway on a federal level. Whereas the Farm Bill creates what appears to be a loophole for delta-8 (which really isn’t technically there), there’s really no such illusion with delta-9.

Is something illegal if you can’t do anything about it?

This, of course, brings up the question of why ‘legal delta-9 THC’ products are being advertised as legal, when there is no legal basis for them. And the answer, as far as I can tell, is actually pretty basic. Vendors can get away with advertising legal delta-9 THC, because no one’s going to do anything about it. And this begs the question, if there are no actual repercussions to an illegal activity, is it actually illegal?

The idea of ‘illegal’ depends on punishment. After all, if something is stated as illegal, but there’s never a punishment for it, it creates a form of a loophole. It’s not technically legal, sure, but anyone participating also won’t have to worry about criminal repercussions. It’s a strange loophole that exists, which can be created by different factors. In this case, the factors seem to be related to the ability to police the industry, which considering how many unregulated cannabis compounds are being sold from illegal dispensaries, isn’t happening.

cannabis cannabinoids

Taking a step back, and looking at the whole war on drugs, confirms that point further. The US government was never able to stop any kind of illegal cannabis trade, and has been generally weakened by the majority of its states adopting policies that go against federal mandate. Plus, the government has gotten plenty of backlash in the past for continuously attempting to give criminal penalties to people legally using by state law. It’s honestly hard to imagine the government really being able to do anything about it at this juncture.

What about actual legal THC?

Truth is, the US government knows it has to pass a bill very soon since it can’t keep its states under control. This can be seen in different places. One big giveaway is a state like North Carolina, and its republican-led medical cannabis bill. Republican representatives have made no bones in that state about understanding that the population wants it, and that they must comply if they want to keep their seats.

On a bigger level, the US government has two bills currently working their way through Congress, which would each work to end cannabis prohibition, though in slightly different ways, and with different laws and regulatory measures. The MORE Act, is a decriminalization act, which would also work as somewhat of a legalization measure. This is because it institutes tax rates on cannabis products, something that can’t be done in a simply decriminalized market.

A tax rate makes it on the up and up. Decriminalization only refers to a lack of criminal penalties; and decriminalization measures generally come with some kind of minor, non-criminal punishment. This bill passed the House last year, but didn’t make it to the Senate before adjournment. It’s up for another House vote this year to continue on.

Then there’s the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, which is a full-on legalization bill introduced by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. This would go further than the MORE Act, though they would both drop cannabis from the Controlled Substances list. This bill would also drop Section 280E from the IRS tax code, which would work to allow cannabis operators to access the same tax deductions as other businesses. Both bills come with their own structures for tax and regulation, with the Opportunity Act proposing much higher tax rates, but allowing for things like interstate sales.

Is it worth it?

In my opinion, absolutely not! And I doubt many people will care much for it. We have a stable and working black market for good weed in America, and 18 states with legal dispensaries (or which soon will have them if they haven’t gotten there yet). It’s not the idea of it being technically illegal, so much as simply unnecessary. Weed is accessible, that’s why the government has always had such a hard time stopping the industry.

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The more confounding issue in my mind, is that rather than just using the plant to access delta-9, this would mean using synthetization techniques, which in this case, are sort of ridiculous. The debate exists with delta-8, because you can’t access a large enough amount naturally, and it has good enough qualities to make synthesizing it worthwhile. We can access delta-9. Pretty much anywhere in the world.

This doesn’t mean it can’t be useful, especially if its sold in places where cannabis is illegal recreationally, and perhaps harder for some to get. Although I have to question if in such places, it would be wise to expect to see these products on any shelves. If so, then perhaps its something in place of nothing. Otherwise, apart from mild curiosity, my best guess is that this is a misplaced venture that will be invalidated before it has time to really catch on anyway.

Conclusion

Legal or not, it seems like delta-9 THC is being sourced from low-THC hemp, and sold as a (legal) product. Maybe I’m wrong and legal delta-9 THC will be the next big thing, but in a country on the brink of a legalization/decriminalization, and with the ability to easily get real cannabis in most places, I don’t think this is anything more than a gimmick, and not the best one I’ve seen.

Hello to all! Thanks for dropping by CBDtesters.co, your premiere location for the most current and thought-provoking cannabis and psychedelics-related news worldwide. Come by regularly to stay in-the-loop on the ever-changing landscape of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and remember to subscribe to the The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter, to ensure you always know what’s going on.

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DisclaimerHi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advise, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.





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