Douglas Co. DA to begin to prosecute those found selling Delta-8
Those who possess, but do not sell, will not be aggressively prosecuted
LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - The Douglas Co. District Attorney will begin to prosecute businesses found to have Delta-8 on their shelves, however, those who possess the drug - but do not sell it - will not be aggressively prosecuted.
On Tuesday, June 14, Douglas Co. District Attorney Suzanne Valdez says her office has taken the position to not aggressively prosecute residents for possession of small quantities of THC products. She said this is a matter of prosecutorial discretion based on the effective allocation of resources and prevailing community interests.
Valdez noted that her office has never ceased to pursue the illegal distribution of controlled substances. She said these operations pose a significant and substantial community health and safety risk and also frequently results in crime.
Currently, the DA indicated there is a great deal of confusion and misinformation about the legal status of Delta-8 THC. In 2021, she said a number of law enforcement agencies across the state asked the Attorney General to clarify the issue.
On Dec. 2, 2021, Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued Opinion No. 2021-4, which asserts Delta-8 is a Schedule 1 controlled substance and illegal to possess or sell in Kansas. The only exception occurs when the substance is made from industrial hemp and if it contains no more than 0.3% total tetrahydrocannabinol.
Given that the possession and sale of Delta-8 is illegal in the Sunflower State and accounting for prevailing public health, safety and welfare interests, Valdez said her office will prosecute the distribution and sale of Delta-8 in Douglas Co.
The DA said the county will start to serve notices as businesses possibly engaged in the distribution and sale of Delta-8 are identified.
Should the Kansas Legislature choose to revisit the legality of Delta-8, Valdez noted that her office would be willing to reassess its position on the issue.
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