Smoke Shops Hit Hard by ‘Delta 8’ Ban in Texas

Vape City store exterior. | Image from Vape City / Yelp

Recent bans over Delta 8 THC are causing an uproar among some small business owners.

Due to current bans on THC products, Texas ranked number 49 on a list showing where each state throughout the country stood with marijuana users overall.

The newer Delta 8 THC products have been gaining popularity lately. For this reason, many vape and smoke shops included it in their product assortment. Some even opened stores dedicated to only selling Delta 8.     

Now, small businesses which derive their entire profit based on their Delta 8 sales are hurting. Some have filed lawsuits over the immediate loss of their income.    

Ali Sheikhani, CEO of Sheikhani Group, has been significantly affected by the Delta 8 ban and is one of those business owners suing the state health department. He owns 75 Vape City stores throughout Texas. During his interview with KHOU 11, Sheikhani said that he was shocked when he heard of the ban.    

“It was so random. At first, I did not believe it,” Sheikhani told KHOU 11.     

Vape City has lost profits because Delta 8 made up nearly half of the store’s primary income. Now Vape City’s 500 employees are at risk of losing hours and possibly their jobs.     

“If I’m gonna shut down some stores, if I’m gonna lose some sales, I have to fire a couple of employees, a couple of hundred employees, as a matter of fact,” said Sheikhani to KHOU 11. “Not just one, two, three, four, ten, and the unemployment is gonna go up. I’m not just talking about me at the moment. We have 5,000 plus stores all over in Texas who are selling Delta-8.”   

According to the article in KHOU, 11 lawyers representing the state health department say Delta 8 has been a scheduled one controlled drug for the last 40 years in Texas. Texas made hemp legal in 2019. However, the Delta 8 type of THC found in hemp is not permitted.    

Delta 8 is still a legal product in 30 other states throughout the country, however, Texas could serve as an example of what’s to come for Delta 8 legality. 

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, a judge granted a temporary injunction, halting the ban on Delta 8 products.

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