GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A bill signed by Governor Whitmer makes it so the cannabinoid Delta 8 is regulated the same way as other THC products.
Delta 8 comes from hemp plants and has always been present in extremely small quantities. It's slightly chemically different than Delta 9, the more common cannabinoid found in marijuana plants.
Effective October 11, Delta 8 products will be regulated by the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency.
“The reason Delta 8 and Delta 9 are classified differently, is when the classifications for drugs were being done, the traditional delta 9 THC that we are all so familiar with, was the only substance that got classified,” Drew Phillippy, President of Purple East said.
Previous regulations only affected Delta 9, which meant when Delta 8 came to market about a year ago, it didn't face the same restrictions and could be sold outside of marijuana dispensaries.
Delta 8 previously existed in too small of quantities to produce any effects of getting high. Now, it is chemically synthesized and can produce effective "highs" similar to traditional THC products like Delta 9, but with lessened effects.
Purple East used to sell Delta 8, but no longer can due to the new restrictions.
“I’m disappointed in it," Phillippy said. "I don’t think it’s a threat to public safety, that it needs to be regulated. There are a lot of other things you can take over the counter that can have adverse side effects."
FOX 17 called around to a few dispensaries, none have said for sure they're carrying Delta 8.
Purple East's president believes sooner or later, a different product will arise.
“Something new will probably replace it," Phillipy said. "Which will then be regulated in another two years, and they’ll keep finding new cannabinoids to regulate."