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Is THCA Legal? The State By State Legality Of A Promising Cannabinoid

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Cannabis laws can be a little tricky to navigate in the United States. THCA is a cannabinoid that has recently fascinated many with its potential benefits and effects. With frequent changes being made to cannabis laws, consumers are often left asking is THCA legal in my state?

Depending on where you live, the legality of cannabis and its derivatives (cannabinoids) can vary significantly.

But even in states with regulated marijuana markets, there can still be legal gray areas when it comes to certain cannabinoids, like delta-8delta-10, and THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid).

In this article, we’ll explore the current legal status of THCA federally and in each state.

But before we get into all of that, we want to preface this with a disclaimer—none of what this article says should be taken as legal advice. While we do our best to provide accurate and up-to-date information, readers should not rely solely on this article for legal guidance, as cannabis laws are subject to change.

Overview of THCA

There’s a lot to unpack in this article, but if you’re pressed for time and want the key points of this cannabis industry hot topic, we’ve got you.

  • THCA stands for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, and it’s the precursor cannabinoid to THC.
  • THCA, as it is, is non-psychoactive, but it turns into the psychoactive compound THC when exposed to heat (cooking, smoking, vaping).
  • The cannabinoid THCA can comply with the Farm Bill because it’s not listed as a Controlled Substance. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and its derivatives, which includes THCA, as long as the final product contains no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC on a dry weight basis.
  • Due to various interpretations of the hemp laws, THCA products may be more accessible than THC products in some states, presenting a potential legal loophole for those seeking the psychoactive effects of cannabis.
  • What states are THCA legal in? It’s a much shorter list to name states that aren’t THCA-friendly: Arkansas, Idaho, Minnesota, Oregon, and Rhode Island.
  • The point is that cannabis laws are in flux and can be quite complicated. It’s important to stay up-to-date on the legal status of cannabis in your state and to be aware of any potential legal risks associated with the use of these products.

Learn more about our THCA pre-rolls

The Legal Status Of THCA Federally

While the Food and Drug Administration does not explicitly prohibit THCA, making it legal on a federal level, THCA’s status as an analog of THC means that it may be illegal to possess depending on the laws of your state. Below are our notes on the legality of THCA products in the US by state.

US Map of Legality of THCA Cannabinoid by State
StateLegalityInfo
AlabamaLegalAlabama’s state laws are strict when it comes to marijuana. For instance, if you’re caught with a delta-9 THC product, you could lose your privilege to drive for six months.
For now, it looks like THCA from hemp flower is legal, as it’s in line with federal law, which legalized all hemp products within an acceptable level of delta-9 THC. But make sure you carry the label of your product to prove it’s hemp-derived.
AlaskaLegalThere are no restrictions on the purchase and use of THCA in this state.
Alaska was one of the first states to have legalized the recreational use of marijuana and its cultivation of up to 12 cannabis plants for personal use for adults over the age of 21.
ArizonaLegalArizona legalized marijuana for recreational in November 2020, which means you can freely purchase and use THCA flower and products made with THCA extract freely as an adult, regardless of whether it was derived from hemp or marijuana.
ArkansasLegalTHCA, obtained from industrial hemp containing under 0.3% THC, is not categorized as a controlled substance in Arkansas. The state has actively differentiated hemp-derived products with lower THC levels from those with higher THC concentrations, thereby legalizing the possession and use of THCA.
However, it’s crucial to remember that cannabis products containing higher levels of THC are still heavily regulated. Users should adhere to Arkansas laws regarding the usage and possession of such products. Additionally, the legal landscape for cannabis products in Arkansas may shift with future amendments to state and federal laws.
CaliforniaLegalGeorgia follows the same laws as the federal government regarding cannabinoids. THCA is available legally in this state as long as it’s derived from hemp and is within the limits of less than 0.3% delta-9 THC by weight.
ColoradoLegalColorado is also a cannabis-friendly state, so THCA products are legal here. Adults are free to purchase and possess THCA as it’s not considered a controlled substance under Colorado law.
ConnecticutLegalConnecticut has legalized medical and recreational marijuana, so there aren’t any restrictions on the purchase and possession of THCA by adults.
DelawareLegalDelaware only recently decriminalized the marijuana plant. However, marijuana and its derivatives are not yet legal outside of medical use.
THCA is legal as long as it complies with the Farm Bill regulations. Products containing THCA must be hemp-derived and contain less than 0.3% THC by dried weight.
FloridaLegalOnly delta-9 THC outside of the state’s medical marijuana program is illegal, so you can freely enjoy THCA derived from hemp in Florida.
GeorgiaLegalGeorgia follows the same laws as the federal government when it comes to cannabinoids. THCA is available legally in this state as long as it’s derived from hemp and is within the limits of less than 0.3% delta-9 THC by weight.
HawaiiGray AreaYou can purchase THCA products derived from hemp and maintain less than 0.3% delta-9 THC by dried weight if you’re at least 21 years of age. But you won’t be able to legally obtain any smokable THCA products, as Hawaii specifically restricts inhalable cannabis products.
This means THCA tincture and THCA gummies might be your only way to access this cannabinoid.
Marijuana and other THC isomers (even derived from hemp) are decriminalized in Hawaii but are not legal for recreational use. It’s a good idea to keep the product’s third-party lab tests and labels on hand should you run into any hiccups.
IdahoIllegalIdaho has strict state laws when it comes to cannabis and THC.
According to Idaho state’s laws, hemp and CBD products are legal as long as it has 0% THC.
This is different from the federal law, which allows for up to 0.3% THC. This means that, unfortunately, all THC forms are illegal in this state, regardless of their source.
IllinoisLegalThere are no restrictions regarding THCA in Illinois. Marijuana is legal in this state for medical and recreational use for adults aged 21 and older.
IndianaLegalIndiana has conservative views surrounding cannabis, so marijuana sale and possession in this state remains illegal. However, it does follow the federal guidelines for the sale of hemp and hemp-derived products.
Indiana hasn’t specially addressed the legality of hemp-derived THCA, and there’s no language in their laws that stipulates that all forms of tetrahydrocannabinol are illegal.
So as long as your THCA product comes from hemp and maintains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC, you should be in the clear. Keep third-party lab tests and the product label on hand.
IowaLegalIowa follows the same regulations put forth by the federal government when it comes to cannabis. And it’s not a marijuana-friendly state.
Iowa hasn’t addressed the legality of hemp-derived THCA products, so as long as your THCA comes from hemp flower with less than 0.3% delta-9 concentrations, you should be safe.
KansasGray AreaIt is illegal to buy and possess any amount of delta-9 THC, including CBD or other hemp-derived products, in Kansas. However, there’s no mention of THCA isomers like delta-8, delta-10, or THCA.
As long as you stick to a hemp-derived THCA product with 0% THC, you should be OK.
Unfortunately, this means THCA flower is out of the picture, as it naturally contains trace quantities of delta-9 THC.
KentuckyLegalKentucky has very strict cannabis laws but doesn’t have any guidance on hemp-derived forms of THC products.
Since THCA can be derived from hemp, it’s likely legal under federal law as long as it maintains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC.
LouisianaGray AreaLouisiana has very strict laws regarding THC products. Possession of any amount of delta-9 THC, including in hemp-derived products, is illegal in this state unless attained through a medical marijuana program.
There’s no mention of hemp-derived THCA’s legal status. But given the state’s history of strict marijuana possession charges, you could find yourself in hot water with any form of THC product.
MaineLegalIn 2016, Maine voters legalized recreational cannabis use for adults aged 21 and over, making it a cannabis-friendly state. You can purchase THCA products freely in Maine.
MarylandLegalTHCA derived from hemp isn’t explicitly listed in Maryland’s Controlled Substances Act. However, the legal status of THCA products may depend on their delta-9 THC content.
The state made more progressive views towards marijuana in 2019 when Maryland passed a law decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. However, concentrated cannabis extracts remain illegal.
Your best bet with THCA products in Maryland is THCA gummies made from federally compliant hemp crops, and keep third-party lab tests on hand.
MassachusettsLegalMassachusetts is a cannabis-friendly state. You can purchase THCA products freely online and in select recreational marijuana dispensaries if you’re over the age of 21.
MichiganLegalMichigan recently legalized recreational marijuana. Michigan residents can enjoy purchasing and consuming THCA products (regardless of whether it was hemp or marijuana-derived) in their state.
MinnesotaLegalAs of August 1, 2023, recreational marijuana is legal in Minnesota for adults aged 21 and older. This legalization includes the following provisions:
Decriminalization and Possession Limits: The law fully decriminalizes the possession, use, and home cultivation of cannabis. Adults can legally use, possess, or transport cannabis paraphernalia and possess or transport up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower in a public place.
Regulatory Framework: The new legislation also establishes a comprehensive regulatory framework to manage, regulate, and tax cannabis sales to adults. This includes personal possession of up to 2 pounds of marijuana no longer being a crime.
Statewide Legalization: This move makes Minnesota the 23rd state in the United States to legalize recreational marijuana. The law allows Minnesotans aged 21 and over to possess and use certain amounts of cannabis and cannabis products. However, it’s important to note that cannabis remains illegal on federal property.
MississippiGray AreaNew Mexico decriminalized marijuana, but it’s still banned.
The state follows the federal government’s guidelines when it comes to the cannabis plant, which means you can enjoy THCA products as long as they contain less than 0.3% delta-9 THC.
MissouriLegalOnly medical marijuana is legal in Missouri, and marijuana has been decriminalized in this state.
As long as THCA products purchased online are made from Farm Bill-compliant hemp crops with less than 0.3% delta-9 THC, you can enjoy the benefits of THCA.
MontanaLegalMontana recently legalized recreational marijuana use for adults 21 years and older. Other than the age purchasing limit, there are no other restrictions to purchasing THCA products online and in select dispensaries.
NebraskaLegalNebraska’s Bill 657 stipulates that any hemp-derived product is legal so long as the delta-9 THC concentration is below federal limits (0.3%).
This state hasn’t legalized medical or recreational marijuana, so it’s important that you shop for a reputable THCA product and keep the third-party lab tests on hand.
NevadaLegalNevada has legalized medical and creational marijuana use as of 2020. THCA, regardless of its origin, is free to purchase and use in the state of Nevada.
New HampshireLegalYou can purchase THCA products from hemp legally, as long as it maintains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC.
New Hampshire has not legalized recreational marijuana, so it’s important you shop from reputable suppliers that can provide third-party lab testing, as cannabis products with more than 0.3% THC could earn you a ticket or confiscation.
New JerseyLegalNew Jersey doesn’t have any restrictions on THCA products. Marijuana and hemp are legal for adults 21 years of age and older, so you can enjoy your THCA products in this state stress-free.
New MexicoLegalNew York is the 15th state to have legalized recreational marijuana, which also means you can enjoy purchasing and consuming THCA products regardless of their cannabis source without worry in this state.
New YorkLegalNorth Carolina has no restrictions on the sale and purchase of hemp-derived THCA products.
And while the state has decriminalized marijuana and delta-9 THC, you still want to make sure you have third-party lab tests to prove your THCA product’s origins.
North CarolinaLegalOklahoma has historically strict cannabis laws. There have been accounts of people finding themselves in legal hot water for possessing federally legal delta-8 distillates.
There hasn’t been any mention of hemp-derived THCA products in the state’s laws, but given strict attitudes towards other THC variations, we’d THCA lives in a legal grey area in Oklahoma.
North DakotaLegalNorth Dakota has fairly strict cannabis laws compared to other states. However, you should be able to purchase THCA products that are hemp-derived with less than 0.3% THC by dried weight.
OhioLegalOn November 7, 2023, Ohio became the 24th state to legalize recreational marijuana. The new law allows adults 21 and older to buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and grow plants at home.
OklahomaGray AreaTexas isn’t far away from legalizing recreational marijuana use altogether. For now, Texas follows the federal guidance on cannabis, which means Farm Bill-compliant THCA is legal.
While marijuana isn’t yet legal, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Travis County have a “Cite and Release” law that protects citizens from arrest on marijuana charges.
OregonIllegalOregon has legalized medical and recreational marijuana use, but it’s only available through licensed dispensaries. Under Oregon’s hemp program, hemp-derived products must not contain more than 0.3% THC by dried weight.
Oregan has stipulated that since THCA is a precursor to THC and becomes THC when exposed to heat, it has the potential to exceed the legal THC limit.
PennsylvaniaLegalThe state stated that they follow the same regulations as the federal government for cannabis, which means only THCA products that contain less than 0.3% delta-9 THC are legal for purchase.
Rhode IslandIllegalRhode Island acknowledges that THCA is a precursor to THC and will convert to THC with heat exposure, which is why it’s considered an illegal marijuana product, regardless of its source.
You cannot purchase THC variations with more than 0.3% concentration in Rhode Island without a medical marijuana license.
South CarolinaLegalTHCA isn’t explicitly illegal in South Carolina. As far as South Carolina is concerned about THCA, it is perfectly legal as long as it maintains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC by dried weight.
South DakotaLegalSouth Dakota hasn’t specially addressed the legality of THCA, and the recreational use of marijuana in the state remains illegal.
South Dakota follows federal laws when it comes to hemp products, which means THCA products are legal as long as it’s Farm Bill-compliant.
TennesseeLegalLike South Dakota, Tennessee hasn’t addressed the legality of THCA. However, marijuana does remain illegal outside of medical marijuana applications.
Tennessee follows the federal government’s laws on cannabis, which means THCA products are available to purchase as long as they maintain the federal delta-9 THC limits.
TexasLegalTexas isn’t far away from legalizing recreational marijuana use altogether. For now, Texas follows the federal guidance on cannabis, which means Farm Bill-compliant THCA is legal.
And while marijuana isn’t yet legal, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Travis County have a “Cite and Release” law that protects citizens from arrest on marijuana charges.
UtahGray AreaUtah has listed all THC versions as a Schedule I controlled substance. This namely applies to isomers such as delta-8 and delta-10 THC.
However, there is a workaround for this, as many people in Utah have been using hemp-derived THCA products under 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis.
The legal status of cannabinoid acids and other THC isomers is a bit hazy in this state, so proceed with caution.
VermontGray AreaVermont has allowed the sale of hemp-derived cannabis products as long as they maintain the total THC threshold of under 0.3%. Most recently, the state banned all delta-8 THC products, as it regards delta-8 as a synthetically derived THC.
Since THCA is naturally occurring in raw cannabis plants and maintains less than 0.3% THC by dried weight, it could comply with the state’s law enforcement agencies.
VirginiaLegalTHCA derived from hemp plants with a total THC (delta-9) concentration of 0.3% or less is legal in the state of Virginia, as the state follows the federal guidance of cannabis law enforcement.
WashingtonLegalAny and all cannabis products and derivatives are considered legal in Washington, so you can enjoy the benefits of THCA flower, concentrates, gummies, and oil in this state.
West VirginiaLegalWest Virginia hasn’t made a stance on THCA’s legal status, but it seems to follow the federal guidelines on cannabis, which means that it’s legal to purchase THCA products from Farm Bill-compliant cannabis.
WisconsinLegalIn Wisconsin, only medical marijuana patients can have access to THCA derived from the marijuana plant.
However, the state follows federal guidelines on cannabis laws, which means you can purchase THCA from Farm Bill-compliant hemp.
WyomingLegalAlthough Wyoming has strict marijuana laws, it doesn’t have any legal restrictions statements on hemp-derived cannabis products. This means you can purchase and possess THCA products with less than 0.3% delta-9 THC in this state. However, we recommend keeping the third-party lab tests of your product ready should someone ask about it.
Legality of THCA by State
Hemp Flower that contains a high THCA percentage
Hemp Flower that contains a high amount of THCA

What Is THCA?

Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) is a naturally occurring cannabinoid present in high concentrations in raw cannabis buds.

THCA itself doesn’t have psychoactive properties if ingested in its raw form. However, if THCA is exposed to heat (decarboxylation), it transforms into delta-9 THC, which will result in psychoactive effects.

In short, you can eat as many THCA gummies or high THCA hemp flower all you want, and you won’t get high. Some early cannabis research suggests that THCA might have its unique benefits, but the second you heat up THCA concentrate or THCA flower, you’re in for a different experience. View our more in depth breakdown going over “What is THCA?” here.

The 2018 Farm Bill: Hemp Flower Vs. Marijuana Flower

2018 was a big year for cannabis enthusiasts like us.

The Farm Bill came into effect, which established a key distinction between hemp and marijuana flower: hemp is defined as a Cannabis sativa L. plant with a delta-9 THC concentration of no more than 0.3% by dry weight.

The bill allowed for the legal cultivation and production of the hemp plant and hemp-derived products like CBDCBNCBG, and more, as long as the products meet these delta-9 THC concentration requirements.

This federal law also didn’t take into THC variations that do produce psychoactive effects, such as delta-8, delta-10, and HHC. And it certainly didn’t take into account that THCA could fall into a legal loophole as consumers can make THC by applying sufficient heat.

While many states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, other states have stricter laws on marijuana and THC (hemp-derived or otherwise).

On a federal level, THCA is considered legal as long as it maintains the acceptable delta-9 THC threshold of 0.3%. However, some state laws may have different attitudes toward this cannabinoid.

Before purchasing THCA online, make sure you understand your local laws and can verify the product’s source and delta-9 concentrations through accredited third-party lab tests.

While many people enjoy using raw THCA flower as a superfood and for its benefits without intoxicating effects, THCA flower and concentrates can also be used for its elevating effects by transforming THCA into THC through heat (decarboxylation).

If that’s the case, please remember to use cannabis responsibly.

What is THCA Hemp Flower?

THCA hemp flower refers to the dried, unheated buds of the hemp plant that contain high levels of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and may contain up to 0.3% delta-9 THC by dried weight.
Some growers have even begun breeding hemp strains to contain high levels of THCA, which can be harvested and sold as THCA-rich hemp flower.
THCA flower can be used as a raw food supplement made into capsules or added to smoothies and salads. But it can also be used as a legally compliant cannabis flower that produces intoxicating effects when smoked, vaped, or cooked as the THCA converts into THC

How do I prove my product is THCA?

The only way to prove your product is THCA and the appropriate levels of delta-9 THC is with a certificate of analysis conducted by an accredited third-party lab. This report can give a detailed outline of the cannabinoid profile and concentration of your cannabis product.

Will THCA get me high?

Eating raw THCA (unheated) will not produce a high. This is because it doesn’t bind to CB1 endocannabinoid receptors, which activate a number of physiological responses that produce an intoxicating effect as THC does. However, once you expose the THCA content to heat, it becomes THC and will result in a typical marijuana experience.

Will THCA show up on a drug test?

Yes, THCA will show up on a drug test. Most drug tests look for metabolites of the compound in your system as your liver works to expel them. Since the liver breaks down THC and THCA into the same metabolite THC-COOH and may result in a failed drug test.

Is THCA Flower legal?

THCA flower that maintains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC is considered hemp and remains federally legal. Some states have laws surrounding THCA, and it may be considered illegal, regardless of its source.

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