OUR Articles With marijuana laws evolving all around the country, new areas of the industry are being brought to light to be assessed for legality purposes. One of the most pertinent areas As state officials begin clarifying its legality, hemp-derived delta-8 THC remains permitted in Nebraska.
With marijuana laws evolving all around the country, new areas of the industry are being brought to light to be assessed for legality purposes. One of the most pertinent areas being debated on is the legality and use of cannabidiol (CBD).
What is CBD?
CBD is one of an estimated 100-plus cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant that is extracted as the plant’s resin. A cannabinoid is defined as “any various chemical constituents (such as THC [tetrahydrocannabinol] or cannabinol) of cannabis or marijuana.” Unlike its more popular relative THC, CBD is non-psychotropic which means it does not produce the “high” that THC does. Therefore most industrial varieties of hemp contain minimal amounts of THC—usually less than 0.3%—with a CBD-to-THC ratio close to 10-to-1.
CBD Medical Usage
The main interest in CBD of late has come from its purported medical uses. Various studies have reported numerous medical ailments that have been relieved or reduced due to the ingestion of CBD. Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report stating that CBD has several medical applications, with evidence suggesting the effective treatment of epilepsy and preliminary evidence of success in the treatment of cancer. WHO also noted that CBD exhibits no effects of abuse or dependence potential in humans, and no evidence exists showing recreational CBD use or public health concerns arising from CBD. However, despite the promising reports of the positive effects of CBD, it is still illegal on the federal scale and classified as a schedule I drug.
The federal law surrounding marijuana and the parts of the plant indicate the only parts that can be harvested and used legally is the stalk of the mature plant and sterilized seeds incapable of germination. However, the line is drawn hard here. Any resin, including CBD, that is extracted from the mature stalk is still considered marijuana and is therefore illegal. Regardless of mostly Internet-based arguments that CBD is legal under federal law, the Department of Justice maintains that CBD, along with all marijuana extracts, is still and always has been a Schedule I controlled substance.
There is one exception to the federal laws surrounding marijuana however. Under the Agricultural Act of 2014, more commonly referred to as the “Farm Bill”, marijuana can be grown and harvested by institutes of higher education or a state’s department of agriculture to grow or cultivate “industrial hemp”. Importantly, the section defines “industrial hemp” to mean any Cannabis sativa L. plant, or any parts of the plant, whether growing or not, with a THC content of no more than 0.3%. The bill is to allow the state to closely regulate the growth and cultivation of extremely low-THC hemp for the purposes of research. Anyone growing the hemp—whether a University or an individual famer—must register and certify with the state while also using the hemp for research purposes.
With the passage of the “Farm Bill” the University of Nebraska saw its chance to conduct important and incredibly pertinent research on the ailments of CBD. Starting in May of 2015, the Nebraska Unicameral passed LB390 which created a pilot study though the University of Nebraska and Nebraska Medicine. The Medical Cannabidiol Pilot Study allows the University of Nebraska and Nebraska Medicine, and only those two, to produce or possess CBD for research purposes. In pursuit of this research, only the University of Nebraska Medical Center may test the CBD and only the Nebraska Medicine Research Pharmacy may dispense CBD for research purposes. Finally, only patients with intractable seizures and treatment resistant seizures may, with a physician’s order, obtain CBD under the Pilot Study.
Although the World Health Organization has recently released a statement that cannabidiol has several medically viable uses, is not prone to abuse and raises no public health concerns, the United States DEA has not moved CBD away from being a Schedule I controlled substance as it falls under the Controlled Substance Act’s definition of “marijuana”. This means at the federal level, CBD is still illegal to possess, use, manufacture or transport in interstate commerce. While the 2014 Farm Bill, in the eyes of some, created an exception through the growing and cultivating of industrial hemp a number of administrative regulations and public notices maintain that CBD is not legal at the federal level.
In terms of Nebraska law, CBD is slightly more legally available. This is because Nebraska’s version of a controlled substance act, the Uniform Controlled Substance Act, excludes CBD products that are approved by the FDA from the state’s definition of marijuana. This, coupled with the creation of the Medical CBD Pilot Study, allows certain medical patients to receive CBD medication as part of a research program into the viability of CBD medications. The state has also taken advantage of the opening created by the 2014 Farm Bill and created a CBD research program that allows secondary institutions to grow and cultivate industrial hemp for purposes of researching CBD. This means while CBD and its precursors are legal in limited situations, generally CBD is still illegal in the state of Nebraska.
If you or a loved one has been the target of a cbd, marijuana, or other narcotic investigation, contact the aggressive experienced criminal defense attorneys at Berry Law.
Is Delta-8 Legal in Nebraska?
Delta-8 remains legal in Nebraska while state officials attempt to clarify its legality.
Hemp-derived delta-8 is legal in Nebraska, but state officials are currently reviewing its legality. Currently, the use, possession, sale, distribution, purchase, and production of delta-8 products are permitted under state law without risk of penalty or prosecution. However, with nearly 20 US states now restricting or banning delta-8 following pressure from the federal government and the DEA, we expect delta-8’s legality in Nebraska hangs in the balance. Pair this with a staunch anti-cannabis state governor and delta-8’s future doesn’t look promising.
Is delta-8 currently legal in Nebraska?
- Delta-8 is legal in Nebraska under state and federal law. The use, possession, sale, distribution, purchase, and production of delta-8 products are permitted without fear of penalty or prosecution.
- However, while law enforcement are not seeking to make arrests over delta-8 possession, state officials are currently reviewing delta-8’s legality.
- Other THC isomers, including delta-10, HHC, and THC-O, are also legal under state law, as is hemp-derived CBD.
- Medical cannabis and recreational marijuana are illegal under state law, despite multiple attempts to legalize them.
Is delta-8 THC legal in Nebraska?
Yes, delta-8 THC is legal in Nebraska under state and federal law, but state officials are still attempting to determine its legality. One such state official is a notorious anti-cannabis governor with a lot of influence on state decisions and proceedings.
According to news reports, Nebraska State Governor Pete Ricketts, who famously stated marijuana legalization would contribute to the killing of kids, requested State Attorney General Doug Peterson to review if delta-8 falls under the state’s definition of marijuana. Marijuana is an illegal controlled substance under Nebraska’s Controlled Substances Act.
If Peterson concludes that delta-8 is an illegal controlled substance, the use, possession, sale, purchase, distribution, and production of delta-8 products in the state will most likely be prohibited under state law.
However, according to recent news reports, Lincoln-Lancaster County Narcotics Task Force LPD Captain Ryan Dale believes delta-8 isn’t a problem in Nebraska and won’t arrest anyone in possession of delta-8 products, stating:
“I don’t know that I would characterize [delta-8] as an issue. To my knowledge, they’re not doing anything illegal.”
For Dale, the biggest issue is differentiating between delta-8 and marijuana, an illegal controlled substance carrying more than the federally legal 0.3% THC. To protect delta-8 users from law enforcement, he recommends taking some precautions:
There’s no legal requirement for how you carry the Delta-8 products, but I would recommend that people keep them in their original packaging and then maybe even keep the receipt with it. It won’t be seized if all signs point to it being delta-8.
Ryan Dale, Narcotics Task Force LPD Captain
Legislative history of delta-8 in Nebraska
Currently, delta-8 THC derived from hemp plants carrying no more than 0.3% THC (by dry weight) is legal following the passing of the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act (LB 657). This bill coincides with the federal Agriculture Improvement Act (2018 Farm Bill), which legalizes hemp production, hemp cultivation, and hemp-derived compounds, including delta-8.
The Nebraska Hemp Farming Act defines hemp as a variety of Cannabis sativa, including viable seeds and all cannabinoids, derivatives, extracts, salts, and acids, with no more than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. Delta-8 is a cannabinoid in hemp and a derivative of delta-9, meaning it’s currently legal under state law.
Meanwhile, Chapter 28 of Nebraska’s Uniform Controlled Substances Act classifies all marijuana-derived tetrahydrocannabinols as controlled substances, including delta-1 cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol, delta-6 cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol, and delta 3,4 cis or trans tetrahydrocannabinol. It does not list hemp-derived tetrahydrocannabinols, nor does it mention delta-8 in any capacity.
Buying delta-8 in Nebraska?
Since hemp-derived delta-8 is currently permitted in Nebraska, you can purchase delta-8 products online and through physical retail stores located all throughout the state, but mostly in Lincoln. Many of these online and physical stores sell delta-8 oils, delta-8 gummies, delta-8 flower, and delta-8 vape cartridges.
To legally purchase, use, and possess delta-8 vape products in Nebraska, you must be above the age of 21, as outlined in the Nebraska PACT Act, signed into law on June 30, 2010.
We always recommend buying delta-8 products online. Not only is it convenient, but it’s also an easy way to see if the products you’re purchasing are safe, transparent, and high-quality firsthand.
If you’re not in close proximity to a physical retail store and you’re struggling to find the best online delta-8 vendor, our list of the best delta-8 brands will steer you in the right direction.
Can you travel to Nebraska with delta-8?
Yes, you can travel into Nebraska with delta-8, provided it’s sourced from hemp plants carrying no more than 0.3% THC. Likewise, the hemp-derived delta-8 product(s) in your possession should contain no more than 0.3% THC. If the THC quantity is higher, it’s classified as marijuana-derived. Marijuana and marijuana-derived products are prohibited under state and federal law.
As a general rule, do not cross any US state border with marijuana or marijuana-derived delta-8 in your possession. All marijuana products are federally controlled substances and every state border is governed by the federal government. Traveling from one US state to another with delta-8 in your possession is a federal crime. Depending on the quantity in your possession, you could be prosecuted for trafficking an illegal substance.
Is marijuana legal in Nebraska?
No, recreational cannabis is illegal, and there is no program allowing patients access to medical cannabis.
However, the state decriminalized simple cannabis possession after a controversial voter ballot initiative in 2018, sparing offenders jail time if caught with less than 1 oz of cannabis.
A new initiative to legalize medical cannabis in Nebraska could appear on the state ballot next year if enough signatures are gathered before the July 7, 2022, deadline.
Medical marijuana is not legal in Nebraska. The state has no medical cannabis program, despite attempts to establish one. The legal status of medical cannabis in Nebraska means the use, possession, sale, distribution, purchase, cultivation, and production of cannabis for medicinal purposes are prohibited under state law.
In 2015, Bellevue Sen. Tommy Garret introduced Legislature Bill 643 (Cannabis Compassion and Care Act) to the unicameral state legislature. The bill sought to legalize medical cannabis for qualifying patients suffering from serious illnesses, including HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and hepatitis C. The bill was blocked and eventually died after a Senate filibuster in 2016.
In 2019, Nebraska State Attorney General Douglas J. Peterson argued passing a medical marijuana bill would be unconstitutional and in direct conflict with the federal Controlled Substances Act:
“Creating a state regulatory scheme that would affirmatively facilitate the cultivation, processing, wholesale distribution, and retail sale of federal contraband [medical cannabis] on an industrial scale would frustrate and conflict with the purpose and intent of the CSA. Accordingly, we conclude that the MCA would be preempted by the CSA and would be, therefore, unconstitutional.”
A pair of voter initiatives are attempting to make their way to Nebraska’s 2022 ballot seeking to legalize the sale, production, and distribution of medical cannabis and protect qualifying patients from legal consequences.
Unfortunately, the new 2022 medical cannabis voter initiative is receiving staunch opposition. The Republican governor of Nebraska, Pete Ricketts, is partnering with a leading cannabis prohibitionist group to create TV ads opposing the initiatives, urging voters not to approve medical marijuana legalization.
Like medical cannabis, recreational marijuana is also illegal in Nebraska. However, simple possession of cannabis in small quantities is decriminalized.
First-time offenders caught possessing less than 1 oz of cannabis will not face prison time or have it marked on their criminal record. The state considers simple possession an infraction.
Second and third-time cannabis possession offenses are misdemeanors punishable by up to 5 and 7 days in prison, respectively. Fines of up to $500 might also be handed out.
On July 1, 2021, Senator Justin Wayne of Omaha introduced Nebraska Legislature Resolution 2 (LR2CA), a constitutional amendment that would place recreational cannabis legalization for adults aged 21+ on the 2022 ballot. The amendment bill is currently in the committee stage.
Can you purchase delta-10 THC, THC-O, or HHC in Nebraska?
Yes, you can buy delta-10, THC-O, and HHC products in Nebraska. All three are not listed as controlled substances under the state’s Uniform Controlled Substances Act, meaning their use, possession, sale, distribution, purchase, and production are legal under state law with no risk of penalty or prosecution.
Is CBD legal in Nebraska?
Yes, CBD is legal in Nebraska under state and federal law, provided it’s sourced from federally compliant hemp plants carrying no more than 0.3% THC. The legal status of hemp-derived CBD means the use, possession, sale, distribution, purchase, production, and manufacture of hemp CBD products are permitted within the state without fear of penalty or prosecution.
Nebraska legalized the production, cultivation, handling, and transport of hemp and hemp products on May 30, 2019, following the Nebraska Hemp Farming Act (Legal Bill 657), signed into law by Governor Pete Ricketts. The state later implemented the Nebraska Hemp Plan, assigning complete control of hemp production and cultivation to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) in 2020.
This law defines hemp as a variety of Cannabis sativa, including the viable seeds of such plant and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, carrying no more than 0.3% THC (by dry weight).
Previously, Nebraska heavily regulated CBD. The state only allowed the University of Nebraska and Nebraska Medicine access to CBD for research and to create a small pilot program after Legislature Bill 390 in 2014.
This bill gave Nebraska medical patients with intractable epilepsy an opportunity to obtain low-THC CBD products in the form of Epidiolex — the first-ever FDA-approved cannabis medication.
CBD derived from marijuana is illegal in Nebraska. The state considers all marijuana compounds as Schedule I controlled substances under its Controlled Substances Act.
There is currently no upcoming legislation that will change the legality of delta-8 THC in Nebraska. However, since the Nebraska State Attorney General is currently reviewing delta-8’s legality in the state, we expect the introduction of new delta-8 bills in 2022.
Despite Nebraska’s poor history with cannabis, hemp-derived delta-8 is still legal, with no sign of law enforcement making arrests for the use, possession, sale, or production of delta-8 products. Right now, this is great news if you’re a keen delta-8 user. You can enjoy delta-8 products freely without fear of prosecution.
However, be under no illusion. State officials are not cannabis-friendly, and they certainly aren’t fond of intoxicating substances. We expect delta-8 to come under some scrutiny once the state’s attorney general finishes reviewing the legality of delta-8.