Is Delta-8 THC Legal in Kentucky?

By | last updated April 20, 2022

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Similar to Texas, Delta-8 THC is legal in Kentucky thanks to a judge’s temporary injunction filed in February 2022.

But there’s a Senate Bill that will ban delta 8 if passed. Read on for a closer look at delta 8 legality in Kentucky.

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Kentucky Delta-8 THC Laws

Hemp products are legal in Kentucky:

“Hemp products” or “industrial hemp products” means products derived from, or made by, processing hemp plants or plant parts…

Statute 260.850

But 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.”

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.

A Kentucky judge ruled in favor of the Hemp Association on February 28, 2022, passing a temporary injunction that officially keeps delta-8 legal in the state. In that sense, the situation in Kentucky is similar to Texas, where delta 8 is also legal thanks to a judge’s temporary injunction.

However, a Kentucky legislator filed Senate Bill 170 in February 2022 meant to ban intoxicating hemp-derived products like delta 8 and delta 10 THC. If it passes, delta 8 will become illegal in Kentucky.

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 legal on the national level 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 14 states: Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Utah, and Washington.

The Future of Delta 8 in Kentucky

For now, the temporary injunction keeps delta 8 legal in Kentucky.

But a Kentucky lawmaker is trying to pass Senate Bill 170, which will ban delta 8 and other intoxicating hemp-derived products. If the bill passes, delta 8 will officially become illegal in the state.

And if it doesn’t, there’s a good chance the state will try to address delta 8 in some way in future laws. For example, Kentucky is also working on a bill that will decriminalize marijuana, which may treat delta 8 the same way as adult-use marijuana.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

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