Judge grants injunction making delta-8 THC legal in Texas again — for now

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click to enlarge An employee at San Antonio CBD shop Mr. Farmacist removes Delta-8 gummies from a display case. - Sanford Nowlin
Sanford Nowlin
An employee at San Antonio CBD shop Mr. Farmacist removes Delta-8 gummies from a display case.
Texans are in for a case of delta-8 whiplash: first it's legal, then it's not, and now it's legal again — temporarily.

Travis County District Judge Jan Soifer on Monday issued a temporary injunction barring Texas from enforcing a ban against the sale of delta-8, the Dallas Morning News reports. On Oct. 15, the state health department quietly placed the compound on its web-based listing of illegal drugs.

Delta-8 is a hemp-derived compound that features enough THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, to produce a "high." However, CBD retailers began selling it after Texas House Bill 1325, signed in 2019 by Gov. Greg Abbott, and the federal Farm Bill of 2018 legalized the sale of hemp with low levels of THC.

Cannabis distributor Hometown Hero sued the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) after it declared delta-8 an illegal substance, arguing that agency didn't give retailers adequate notice of the change.

Late last month, a different district judge shot down the Hometown Hero's request for a temporary restraining order against the state.

However, in Monday's opinion, Soifer wrote that the DSHS ban, as enacted, would result in "imminent and irreparable harm" to the plaintiffs and leave people who rely on delta-8 to remedy anxiety, chronic pain and other afflictions with "no effective treatment," according to a copy of the ruling obtained by Marijuana Moment.

Soifer's enforcement ban isn't permanent, however. The injunction is only good through the end of the case, according to Marijuana Moment. A final trial is set for January 28.

In a statement shared on YouTube, Hometown Hero CEO Lukas Gilkey said he expects DSHS to immediately appeal the ruling. Still, "it shouldn't change anything, and we should be able to keep proceeding forward," he added.

"As of right now, you can sell delta-8 in Texas," Gilkey said. "Go get 'em, boys!"

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