Delta 8 drug flying off the shelves, creates legal gray area

 Central Florida is buzzing over Delta 8.

Derrick Marshall is the owner of Space Coast CBD in Cape Canaveral.

He and his partner, Leah Bair, say they can't keep Delta 8 on their shelves.

"It's extremely popular right now. Our customer base has almost tripled since it hit the market," Bair said.

It comes in all shapes and size — from pills to gummies, and you can even vape it.

"Delta 8 is hemp-derived, making it legal for us to sell it to you without a prescription," Bair said. "The 2018 Federal Farm Bill states that any hemp product with less than .3 THC is legal to buy."

The Federal Farm Bill relaxed regulations on farmers, allowing them to grow hemp as a cash crop like Tobacco, but blurring legal lines.

"They say it's legal because hemp is legal. The problem from a legislation standpoint is that you can still get high from hemp," said Kevin Hayslett, a criminal defense attorney.

Hayslett says just because Delta 8 is technically legal in Florida, it doesn't come without risks.

"Still, if you possess any substance, you are at risk of confronting law enforcement, them arresting, them testing it and you might win on a test, but here's the problem you've already been arrested, posted a bond, faced a judge," Hayslett said.

Another issue is it's so new some state lawmakers didn't even know about Delta 8 before we asked them.

"You all sent me an article and I read it but until then, I hadn't heard about it all," State Representative Randy Fine said.

Rep. fine represents Brevard County. He says Delta 8 raises concerns for him.

"People must keep in mind marijuana is illegal in the State of Florida except under medicinal purposes," he said.

Bair said customers ask for Delta 8 because it helps them with sleep, pain and relaxation.

She says it has similar effects like those caused by marijuana.

"Delta 8 is a psychoactive. It's not as powerful as marijuana, but we don't recommend you take Delta 8 and drive," Bair said. "It's definitely going to do a head change. It's not like CBD where you can take and feel the same."

Rep. Fine said, "People certainly need to be careful and understand what they are buying when they buy it. If they are using it for medicinal purposes, it has to meet certain criteria. I'm not sure it does."

Attorney Hayslett said, "It'd be nice to have some clarification, but right now it's about as clear as mud."