Arizona sales of unlicensed delta-8 is illegal, state attorney general says

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Arizona operators such as gas stations and smoke shops that are selling delta-8 and other hemp-derived THC products without marijuana business licenses are breaking the law, the state’s attorney general says.

In a 14-page legal opinion released Monday, Attorney General Kris Mayes also said that even though licensed marijuana retailers technically are allowed to sell hemp-derived THC products, she doesn’t endorse such sales because of health and safety concerns.

“This Opinion concludes that delta-8 and other hemp-synthesized intoxicants cannot legally be sold by entities that are not licensed cannabis sellers … Intoxicating cannabis products are Schedule I controlled substances that may be sold only by licensed cannabis sellers in Arizona,” Mayes wrote.

“The Opinion, however, should not be construed as a general endorsement of the sale of hemp-synthesized intoxicants by licensed cannabis sellers … these products may pose public health concerns and information about these products is still emerging.”

A small number of licensed cannabis businesses in the United States, including Cookies, Stiiizy and 1906, have gotten into the hemp-derived cannabinoid market.

Mayes’ opinion didn’t rule out further regulatory action in Arizona against hemp-derived cannabinoids.

“(F)uture regulatory decisions will necessarily be guided by evolving public health and safety information concerning this product class, as well as by particularized information regarding specific intoxicating hemp products and manufacturers,” the attorney general wrote.

Mayes issued the opinion after two state legislators who were concerned about unregulated hemp-derived THC sales asked her to clarify Arizona’s law, according to Fronteras, an outlet of Tempe-based radio station KJZZ.

Arizona is the latest state to crack down on hemp-derived THC.

Florida’s Legislature last week sent a bill banning hemp-derived THC products to Gov. Ron DeSantis to be signed into law.

A map showing delta-8’s legal status around the United States is available here.