Delta-8 THC is among the intoxicating hemp-derived products across US markets, including Kentucky. Federal legislation, primarily the 2018 Farm Bill, makes industrial hemp products like delta-8 legal nationwide.
However, state lawmakers countrywide have varying views on delta-8 THC’s legality. Consequently, Kentucky lawmakers, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and the Kentucky Hemp Association are constantly locking horns over delta-8’s legality in the State and acquiring temporary injunctions on its distribution.
So, is it legal to buy delta 8 THC in Kentucky in 2022? Keep reading to understand Kentucky state law, Senate Bill, and other current legislations governing delta-8 THC consumption in the State.
What Is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is a minor cannabinoid occurring naturally in hemp plant parts like flowers, stalks, and leaves. The substance cannabinoid induces psychoactive effects due to its similarity in chemical structure to delta-9 THC.
Delta-9 THC is the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana and induces the “high” synonymous with marijuana consumption.
Marijuana is a federally illegal substance in the US because its high THC content and limited proven therapeutic benefits increase its potential for abuse. However, unlike marijuana plants, hemp plants have a THC content not exceeding 0.3%.
Hemp cannabinoids with 0.3%, like delta-8 THC and hemp-derived CBD, have mild psychoactive properties, meaning they can make you “high” but are unlikely to cause the undesirable side effects associated with marijuana consumption.
Therefore, federal laws classify marijuana as an illegal, controlled substance but have more progressive rules for industrial hemp plants and substance cannabinoids in the resin extracted from the hemp plant.
The federal hemp law allows hemp farmers to plant cannabis sativa and indica strains with THC levels not exceeding 0.3%. Additionally, the hemp law makes it legal to process industrial hemp into federally legal THC derivatives like delta-8 THC products.
Therefore, delta-8 THC products are famous in Kentucky and beyond for being psychoactive but federally legal.
Delta-8 THC products are available in various consumables, including vapes, gummies, tinctures, and THC-infused smokable flowers.
The Legal Framework and Legislative History of Delta 8 THC In Kentucky
The US has multiple legal and regulatory frameworks guiding adult-use cannabis on federal and State levels. Such frameworks include the laws like the 2018 Farm Bill and the Controlled Substances Act.
The Controlled Substances Act is the supreme federal law, classifying substances as federally legal, illegal, or chemicals of concern, depending on the substance’s safety and potential for abuse.
For instance, marijuana is federally illegal under the Act. However, the 2018 Farm Bill scrapped hemp plants and industrial hemp products like cannabidiol and delta-8 THC from the Schedule 1 controlled substances list; marijuana is a schedule one controlled substance.
Although the 2018 Farm Bill makes a low-THC substance cannabinoid like delta-8 THC products federally legal, the hemp law has provisions for state-level or domestic hemp plans. The provision allows Kentucky lawmakers to propose state laws like a Senate Bill stricter but not more lenient than the Farm Bill to monitor hemp plant distribution.
Kentucky state laws do not allow for the distribution and sale of adult-use or medical marijuana within its jurisdiction. However, residents can legally purchase hemp-derived CBD products complying with the Federal requirement that hemp products have a THC content not exceeding 0.3%.
For instance, Kentucky’s Madeline Gillian Act or state law allows patients diagnosed with specific health conditions like cancer to purchase cannabis oil from a Kentucky public university.
However, the patient must get a cannabis oil recommendation from a physician practicing under the State’s expanded access program. The Act also allows clinic-affiliated public state universities to conduct a clinical trial using resin extracted from hemp plants like floral and leaf materials.
However, the Madeline Gillian Act is Kentucky’s only expanded access program initiative, given that the State lacks a medical marijuana program. Therefore, medical marijuana is unavailable for clinical affiliated use to supplement prescription medication.
Kentucky’s hemp cannabinoid laws are nowhere near as progressive as laws in States like Arizona; Kentucky’s cannabis laws are among the most stringent in the US.
However, On the other hand, the Bluegrass state is also home to the most formidable cannabis activists under the Kentucky Hemp Association umbrella.
Is Delta-8 THC Legal In Kentucky?
So, can you buy delta-8 THC in Kentucky legally? With Kentucky lawmakers pushing to maintain the anti-delta-8 THC senate bill in favor of public opinion and the Kentucky Hemp Association filing a temporary injunction to stop the bill, Delta-8 THC’s legality in Kentucky is murky.
However, below is everything you need to know about down is that you need to know about whether delta-8 THC is legal in Kentucky.
Technically, delta-8 THC falls within the legal hemp product category, given that entities processing industrial hemp plants use the resin extracted from such plants to make delta-8 THC products.
However, the constant battle between Kentucky lawmakers and the Kentucky hemp association over delta-8 THC’s psychoactive effects means that the cannabinoid’s position as a legal cannabinoid or an illegal controlled substance is unclear.
Delta-8 THC products hit the US cannabis market, including Kentucky, in 2019 after a famous cannabis brand launched the premiere D8 product. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture sent a letter or written order to hemp license holders in Kentucky stating that state lawmakers were yet to enact a state law or exemption making delta-8 THC legal.
The letter clarified that delta-8 was an illegal controlled substance in Kentucky. It further cautioned persons participating in manufacturing, marketing, and distributing delta-8 products, citing that such activities made them liable for license revocation. Therefore, It was illegal to buy delta-8 THC in April 2019.
However, the Kentucky Hemp Association responded to the written order by filing a partial injunction lawsuit against the State. The injunction came after Kentucky’s law enforcement agents raided cannabis retailers selling delta-8 products within the State.
Fortunately, the scales of justice tipped in favor of the Kentucky Hemp Association late this year. A Kentucky judge ruled in favor of the Kentucky Hemp Association’s suit for a temporary injunction in September 2022. The judge ruled that delta-8 infused products are legal in Kentucky and granted the association a permanent injunction against the police raids on Kentucky’s delta-8 THC vendors. Therefore, delta-8 THC products are currently legal in 2022.
Where Can I Buy Delta-8 THC In Kentucky?
Kentucky is home to over 26 cannabis dispensaries, selling products like CBD vapes, oils, tinctures, and edibles like gummies. However, the recent police raids and overall dicey delta-8 Kentucky law put cannabis vendors on edge, and most refrained from stocking delta-8 products to avoid losing their licenses.
Consequently, most delta-8 fans in Kentucky purchase their delta-8 stash online from out-of-state vendors delivering delta-8 in Kentucky. Moreover, purchasing hemp products online has multiple advantages over purchases from a local Louisville store or a store in Green Bowl. Such benefits include lower prices, more product variety, discretion, and convenience.
However, you can choose to shop local and buy delta-8 products from one of the local Kentucky dispensaries; hurry while the injunction lasts. You can use search engine maps or search queries like “delta-8 THC products near me.” Some cannabidiol vendors based in Kentucky or with branches in the State have apps with store locator functions to help you find shops selling delta-8 products.
How To Buy Delta 8 THC Products Online In Kentucky?
Although delta-8 THC products are readily available among vendors outside Kentucky, the cannabidiol product industry in the US is highly unregulated. Therefore, you must conduct due diligence to purchase delta-8 products from license-issued online vendors. Below are tips to help you shop for high-quality delta-8 products online.
1. Buy Lab-tested Delta-8 Products
Trustworthy delta-8 THC brands selling products online submit their products to certified labs for independent lab testing. The lab scans products for hemp quality, cannabinoid concentration, and contaminants like heavy metals, fertilizers, and herbicides, before generating a certificate of analysis (COA), verifying that the tested product is contamination-free. Therefore, only purchase lab-tested delta-8 THC products and view the COA to ensure you consume safe products.
2. Consider The Dosage
Delta-8 THC products are available in different doses or concentrations to suit different consumer THC tolerance levels. Although delta-8 THC is mildly psychoactive, it can cause undesirable side effects when taken in high doses. Therefore, shop for delta-8 products with low to moderate delta-8 extract concentrations, especially as a THC newbie, and adjust the dosage accordingly.
3. Consider Brand Reputation
A brand’s value transcends the product to include aftersale services like order tracking, customer service accessibility, and timely delivery. Therefore, ensure you settle for a delta-8 brand with a reputation for delivering high-quality end-to-end services.
The Future of Delta-8 THC In Kentucky
Kentucky may have the most stringent cannabis laws for THC and hemp-derived products, but the future seems bright for industrial hemp product producers. Progressive hemp laws in the Bluegrass state are taking precedence over public sentiment, thanks to the efforts of the Kentucky Hemp Association.
The biggest win for Kentucky delta-8 consumers, retailers, and “cannapreneurs” processing industrial hemp plants is the recent permanent injunction suspending law enforcement raids against delta-8 vendors. However, the injunction is only the beginning. Hopefully, Kentucky residents can look forward to a future whereby all cannabis industry legislators (state lawmakers, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and the Kentucky Hemp Association) can reach a consensus allowing consumers easy access to high-quality, safe delta-8 products.