Is Delta 8 THC legal on Rhode Island flag with Earthy Select logo

Is Delta-8 THC legal in RI?

In Rhode Island hemp-derived Delta-8 THC is questionably legal based on federal law and state law. There are contradictory rules in the Ocean State that complicate the legal status. Keep reading to learn about Delta-8 THC and Rhode Island.

Is Delta-8 THC from the hemp plant? 

Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a cannabinoid, which means it is one of the many substances that comes from the cannabis plant, or hemp plant. Cannabinoids from plants are specifically called phytocannabinoids, and there are hundreds of them. When cannabinoids are consumed, they have an effect on the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). 

The cannabinoids act as neuromodulators that work with the cannabinoid receptors throughout the human body. ​​Scientists are still actively studying the ECS, but researchers link it to regulating physiological and cognitive processes, pain-sensation, immune system activities, appetite, mood, memory, and in mediating the effects of cannabis [1]. 

Delta-8 is a very popular THC product used for therapeutic and personal enjoyment. It is similar to Delta-9 THC which will be discussed in the next section. Most states including Pennsylvania are onboard with legal hemp products like Delta-8. 

What’s the Difference Between Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, Delta-10 THC?

Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, and Delta-10 THC are all naturally occurring cannabinoids, and all three are isomers of the same molecule, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. THC is one of the hundreds of identified cannabinoids from the industrial hemp plant, and it is the principal psychoactive constituent in cannabis.

The molecules that make these three types of THC have a very similar chemical structure, but a small structural difference is evident in where a double-bond occurs. For Delta-8 it is on the eighth carbon chain, for Delta-9 the ninth carbon chain, and for Delta-10 the tenth carbon chain. These minimal chemical variations do make a difference. Research shows that Delta-8 and Delta-10 share many of the effects of Delta-9, although typically at lower levels [2].

Learn more about hemp-derived Delta-9 THC here: Is Hemp-Derived Delta-9 Legal in America?

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What does “hemp-derived” mean?

Hemp-derived means made from hemp, sometimes also referred to as industrial hemp. Hemp is a botanical class of Cannabis sativa cultivars grown specifically for industrial or medicinal use [3]. 

It is refined and used in a very wide range of commercial products. Because of its relation to illegal weed, the hemp plant has faced uneven legality in the U.S. and other countries, despite being a sustainable powerhouse of a resource. 

Hemp comes from the hemp plant. The Farm Bill (see next section) established new legal definitions and rules for industrial hemp, including that hemp and “and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis” may be legally used for production, sales, transport, and use. 

Hemp and hemp derivatives include many cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD), Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 THC. These cannabinoids and others are federally-legal, and used in inhalable, edible, and topical hemp products.

Does the Farm Bill make Delta-8 THC legal everywhere? 

For many years in the U.S., cannabis was illegal whether or not it contained THC, its main psychoactive chemical that occurs naturally in the plant. In the 2010s, the United States Congress enacted two groundbreaking pieces of legislation, called “Agricultural Acts” and commonly known as the Farm Bills. 

The 2014 Farm Bill removed hemp from the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances, and was the seed of hemp’s recent resurgence. The Bill allowed long-forbidden research into hemp-derived cannabinoids to begin in earnest. The 2018 Farm Bill expanded on this, allowing people to produce, sell, and consume hemp-derived products, making it clear to legal experts that all other plant materials and substances derived from legally-defined hemp are also federally-compliant [4]. 

The Bill defines it as: Hemp.–The term `hemp’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of the plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

How do you buy high quality Delta-8?

Finding great Delta-8 isn’t complicated. The best way is to buy directly from trusted brands like Earthy Select who follow safe manufacturing standards and use third-party testing to ensure a clean and potent product.

If processing of Delta-8 is done poorly, it can lead to degradation of the compound, inaccurate potency, or harmful by-products. 

The production methods and standards of Delta-8 THC are critical for its quality, safety and legality. You should always buy Delta-8 from companies who provide a certificate of analysis (CoA) for each product. A CoA is a document attesting to a product’s laboratory analysis for cannabinoids and in some cases adulterants, heavy metals and pesticides. 

Producers should only use third-party lab testing and publish the CoA results where buyers can access them. This transparency promotes trust and reliability between producers, wholesalers, retailers and purchasers.

Labs that are registered with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and International Standards Organization (ISO) and other regulating entities follow federal regulations and are trusted to ensure federal-compliance with Delta-8 and other hemp products.

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Delta-8 and the law in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island hemp-derived Delta-8 THC is questionably legal. Let’s look at why.

In 2019 Rhode Island passed House Bill 5151, making hemp and hemp-derived products legal, and adopting the Farm Bill’s definition.

Reasonably that would include Delta-8 along with other hemp products. However, the state includes all tetrahydrocannabinol and THC isomers including Delta-8 on its controlled substances list for now [5]. Until they figure it out, residents may not find Delta-8 at all retail stores and may want to order online.

Where can I buy Delta-8 in Rhode Island?

If Rhode Island state law is confusing you may prefer to use Earthy Select’s convenient direct mail order service. We sell potent Delta-8 products like gummies, flower, lozenges, tablets, oils and vapes and we ship nationwide.

To learn about nearby states read Is Delta-8 Legal in Connecticut? and Is Delta-8 Legal in Massachusetts? For more on Delta-8 THC and other states check out Is Delta-8 Legal in Your State?

Does Rhode Island have medical marijuana?

Yes, Rhode Island legalized medical marijuana in 2006, and the program is run by the State of Rhode Island Department of Health. According to the Department, “Modern medical research has discovered beneficial uses for marijuana in treating or alleviating pain, nausea, and other symptoms associated with certain debilitating medical conditions, as found by the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine in March 1999 [6].”

Under Rhode Island law, “Approved Qualifying Debilitating Medical Conditions” are:

  • Cancer or the treatment of this condition
  • Glaucoma or the treatment of this condition
  • Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or the treatment of this condition
  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) or the treatment of this condition
  • Hepatitis C or the treatment of this condition
  • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:
    • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
    • Severe, debilitating, chronic pain
    • Severe nausea
    • Seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy
    • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease
    • Agitation related to Alzheimer’s Disease [6]

Does Rhode Island have adult use recreational marijuana?

The state might have recreational marijuana soon. Rhode Island lawmakers proposed a bill in 2022 that would “create a system of licensed businesses to produce and sell cannabis while allowing adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to an ounce [7]. At this point, any cannabis plant material with more than .3% Delta-9 THC is a federally controlled substance.

Final thoughts on Delta-8 in Rhode Island

Despite an odd legal landscape, Rhode Islanders love Delta-8. For the best products out there, ordering from Earthy Select is the way to go. You’ll love Earthy Select’s premium Delta-8 and we ship nationwide! 

Interested in non-psychoactive High-CBD, Low-THC cannabis products? Visit for the best selection of premium full-spectrum and THC free products, and nationwide shipping.

Disclaimer – Information is provided for educational purposes. It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice or medical advice. We attempt to be accurate and up to date but the legality of cannabinoids and the science of cannabis is evolving. The author is neither a lawyer or a legal expert, nor a doctor or medical expert. You should check with your local authorities and medical providers before buying or using any products.


  1. Wikipedia: Endocannabinoid System
  2. Delta-8 and Delta-9: Oral and Intravenous Comparison
  3. Wikipedia: Hemp
  4. HIA Position Statement on Delta-8 and Hemp Cannabinoids
  5. Uniform Controlled Substances Act
  6. Rhode Island Medical Marijuana
  7. Rhode Island Lawmakers Unveil Marijuana Legalization Bill After Months of Negotiations

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Frequently Asked Questions

Not yet. Marijuana is still illegal according to the federal government and the state’s law. But lawmakers proposed a bill in 2022 that would introduce adult use marijuana and allow licensed businesses to produce and sell cannabis to persons age twenty one and older.

A certificate of analysis (COA) is a document issued by a laboratory, attesting to a product’s analysis for cannabinoids and in some cases adulterants, heavy metals and pesticides. It is a useful tool for cannabis producers and customers to ensure quality and trust.

When using Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 THC products, users report feelings of relaxation, euphoria, creativity, focus and pleasure. Some people like to compare the effects to those of traditional adult-use cannabis products.

The strength of the effects on a particular person will be different depending on a few things: dosage level, body weight, food or other substances in the system, and experience/tolerance level of THC, and personal body chemistry.