Is THCA Legal?


You definitely know if cannabis is legal recreationally in your state or not.  But, in recent years, we’ve seen an explosion of other cannabinoids on the market, even in states where recreational cannabis remains illegal.  Are these cannabinoids actually legal though?  There is a ton of conflicting information out there, and to make matters even more complicated, every state has their own laws to take into account.  You may have seen the most recent addition to our store: THCA.  And you’re probably wondering: is THCA legal?  Read on to learn all about this cannabinoid, the 2018 Farm Bill, and whether or not THCA is legal.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in trying out THCA for yourself (assuming it’s legal in your state, of course), check out our online store!  Choose from indica, sativa, or hybrid THCA blunts, or opt for our Tres Leches prerolls.

What is THCA?

Before we get to whether or not THCA is legal, we should probably cover the basics.  THCA is a naturally occurring cannabinoid that can be found in hemp or cannabis.  It is not a psychoactive cannabinoid, and in its original form, provides many of the benefits of THC, without the high.  However, when you add heat, THCA converts to THC.  To enjoy THCA in its original, non-intoxicating form, you would have to grind some flower up and put it in your food, or ingest a specially made tincture.  

When you light a joint, blunt, or bowl?  THCA converts to THC.  The whole reason you decarb your flower in the oven before making your edibles?  To convert THCA to THC and ensure that your edibles will actually get you high.  If you’ve ever smoked weed before, you’ve done this bit of chemistry right from your home, no lab coat required.

The 2018 Farm Bill

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp on a federal level.  Legally, hemp is defined as cannabis containing .3% or less of delta 9 THC.  The intent of this bill was to increase hemp production for things like rope, clothing, and food.  Unintentionally, the bill legalized all cannabinoids that could be derived from hemp, whether they were psychoactive or not.  Suddenly, even people who lived in states without recreational weed could legally get high, as long as the products were derived from hemp.

Is THCA legal?

THCA is considered legal on a federal level as long as it is derived from hemp.  Since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, however, individual states have begun cracking down with legislation of their own.  So, if a state has not subsequently passed its own legislation on this topic, hemp-derived cannabinoids like THCA are legal in said state.  

The Farm Bill was actually due to be updated this past year (it gets an update every five years).  On November 15, the Senate approved a House bill to extend the 2018 Farm Bill through September 2024.  Soon after, President Biden signed the bill into law, which means that hemp-derived cannabinoids will remain federally legal until at least September of next year.

The specifics

Individual states are adopting their own legislation regarding hemp-derived products.  The laws are changing constantly, so definitely research into your own state to ensure that you’re aware of the most current legislation.  THCA has not been explicitly banned in any state by name, but it does fall victim to other rules that effectively make it illegal in a handful of states.  As of today (12/19/23), it appears that THCA would only be illegal in a few states.  These include Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, and Rhode Island.  

Other states, like Connecticut and Nevada, mandate that hemp products may only be purchased from state regulated dispensaries.  So, THCA would be legal there, provided it’s being purchased from a state dispensary.

Total THC

Arkansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, and Rhode Island all take THCA content into account when determining THC content.  In other states, hemp is still considered hemp if it has a high THCA content, but the delta 9 content is still less than .3%.  In contrast, the above mentioned states use something called “total THC formula”.  This formula states that “total THC” is equal to the existing delta 9 THC + .877THCA.  Since THCA becomes THC when subjected to heat, it does make sense that they take this into account in order to determine the total THC content of the plants.

Other legislation

Hawaii has banned smokable hemp products.  So, a THCA tincture would be acceptable, but it certainly won’t get you high.  This means that if you’re looking to make that THCA into THC by smoking it, you legally wouldn’t be allowed to do so in Hawaii.  Similarly, Idaho has banned all hemp-derivatives aside from CBD, which would include THCA.  Hemp containing any amount of THC is illegal under this ban in Idaho.

The bottom line

THCA is considered federally legal in the US, as long as it is derived from hemp.  That being said, individual states have passed legislation that render THCA illegal.  Always stay up to date with what’s going on in your state.  Some states simply seek to regulate the hemp industry. Others have imposed legislation that renders THCA and other hemp derivatives illegal.  Whether it’s through calculating “total THC”, or banning smokable hemp products, the laws can be difficult to understand, and again, are unique in every state.  Provided THCA is legal in your state, DVNT has you covered with blunts and prerolls that will keep you lit and relaxed through the holidays and beyond.