Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Kentucky? (Nov. 2023 Update)

By | Updated on December 7, 2023

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Delta-8 THC is legal in Kentucky thanks to a judge’s permanent injunction filed in August 2022. The state also passed a bill to establish similar regulations for delta-8 THC products as CBD. Read on for a closer look at delta 8 legality in Kentucky.


Delta-8 THC is legal in Kentucky for adults over 21, although there are some testing, packaging, and other requirements.

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Kentucky Delta-8 THC Laws

Here’s a quick look at the timeline of delta-8 legality in Kentucky:

  1. Kentucky’s Department of Agriculture released a letter in April 2021 arguing that “delta-8 THC is a Schedule 1 controlled substance under federal law and Kentucky law.”
  2. There has also been news of police raiding delta 8 vendors after the letter. As a result, the Kentucky Hemp Association filed a lawsuit against the state’s agriculture and police commissioners, arguing that delta 8 is legal under federal and state laws.
  3. A Kentucky legislator filed Senate Bill 170 on February 2022 designed to ban intoxicating hemp-derived products like delta 8 and delta 10 THC but the bill died.
  4. On August 7, 2022, Boone Circuit Judge Rick Brueggemann officially declared that delta-8 THC is legal in Kentucky, issuing a permanent injunction that prevents law enforcement from charging delta-8 retailers and producers with criminal activity.
  5. On November 15, 2022, Kentucky governor Andy Beshear confirmed that delta-8 is legal in the state and signed an executive order that allows the state to regulate the labeling and packaging of delta-8 THC products in a similar way to CBD.
  6. In March 2023, the Kentucky House passed Bill 544, which will establish the regulations, including limiting delta-8 products to adults over 21 and ensuring they’re correctly tested and labeled.
  7. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed the bill into law on March 23, 2023.
  8. Kentucky lawmakers passed additional emergency regulations for intoxicating hemp products in November 2023, which included processing and manufacturing requirements, FDA product testing requirements, and a registry for retailers.

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8-THC is a form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabis compound that gets you high. It’s slightly different from delta-9, which is the most common form of THC in cannabis plants. 

But it can produce all of the same effects, including euphoria, sleepiness, and relaxation (1). The only major difference is that delta 8 is weaker than delta 9.

Why Delta-8 THC is Federally Legal

Delta 8 THC is nationally legal because of an unintended loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill legalized hemp and hemp products as long as they contain no more than 0.3% delta-9 THC.

Since the bill doesn’t place a limit on delta 8, a hemp-derived delta 8 product is technically legal.

As it happens, all of the delta 8 products on the market are made through a simple chemical reaction from CBD, the main cannabinoid in hemp.

States Where Delta-8 THC is Illegal

Every state can choose to regulate delta 8 in its own way.

Delta-8 THC is currently illegal in 17 states: Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

The Future of Delta 8 in Kentucky

Delta-8 remains legal in Kentucky. It’s subject to fairly minor regulations, including limiting delta-8 products to adults over 21 and requiring proper testing and labeling of delta-8 THC products.

Unless Senate Bill 170, which tried to ban delta-8 in 2022, makes a comeback, I expect delta-8 THC to remain legal in Kentucky.

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