The State of Kentucky has been making headlines lately. With the legalization of medical marijuana, many people are asking if Delta 8 THC is legal in Kentucky? The answer to that question may come as a surprise, but Delta 8 THC is not only legal in Kentucky, but also federally. As long as it contains less than a .3% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration (Delta 9-THC) as measured on a dry weight basis, it can be purchased without worries.
Additionally, adults in Kentucky can enjoy some of the other psychoactive cannabinoids, too. Those such as HHC and Delta 9 THC for sale can be purchased online as long as the products meet the legal limits. THC legalities in the state have been changing making some coin the term, "Delta 9 Kentucky" for the favorable laws. Hemp lovers enjoy the euphoric effects of THC, however, let's dive-in and see what the state laws say about Delta-8, specifically!
Yes, Delta 8 THC is legal in the State of Kentucky.
Delta 8 legal concerns have been coming up recently due to the newly-popularized cannabinoid becoming the talk of towns across the state. Known as a mildly-psychoactive cannabinoid that will give users a "high", hemp-derived cannabinoids have been legal in Kentucky since the passing of the Farm Bill in 2018. As long the Delta-9 content remains at or under the .3%, all industrial hemp derivatives including one of the isomers of hemp, Delta-8 THC, is legal under both state and federal laws. State regulators have remarked on limiting the Delta-8 content, but it's lawmakers' role to define the state's stance on tetrahydrocannabinols.
Currently in Kentucky, Delta 8 is allowed but that could be changing soon. With the amended KRS 260.850 Act that went into effect February 2020, state lawmakers explicitly limit the level of Delta-9 THC to be in compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill, which requires products not to exceed .3% Delta-9 THC. In a related but separate Act 218A.010, lawmakers stated in the Act, "'Industrial hemp products' has the same meaning as in KRS 260.850." With that printed in black-and-white, why would there be such controversy related to the hemp-derived Delta-8 THC being prohibited in the State of Kentucky?
According to the DEA Controlled Substance list, Delta-8 THC and all other “Tetrahydrocannabinols” are a Schedule I drug under DEA Number 7370. You can find the DEA controlled substance list on this website...
This interim final rule merely conforms DEA’s regulations to the statutory amendments to the CSA that have already taken effect, and it does not add additional requirements to the regulations.
Honest mistake by the KDA to reference the DEA when they explicitly say their interim final rule (in request of comments) is not meant to add additional regulations? Or does it foreshadow the future banning of Delta-8 THC in the future? Let's learn why, despite official sources communicating misleading information, Delta-8 THC is currently legal in the State of Kentucky.
"Hemp" or "industrial hemp" means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) on a dry weight basis
"Hemp products" or "industrial hemp products" means products derived from, or made by, processing hemp plants or plant parts
"Marijuana" means all parts of the plant Cannabis sp., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin or any compound, mixture, or preparation which contains any quantity of these substances. The term "marijuana" does not include:
Industrial hemp products that do not include any living plants, viable seeds, leaf materials, or floral materials
With industrial hemp-derived Delta-8 THC, this type of product is decompartmentalized from marijuana so as long as the Delta-9 THC contents of the Delta-8 Product does not exceed the .3% Delta-9 THC, resulting in qualifying Delta-8 THC Products being legal in the state.
The state has legalized hemp by defining it according to the federal definition. It also legalized all hemp products, including those made from (or processed using) industrial hemp as well as CBD and other derivatives bearing no living plant material, viable seeds or flower.
Kentucky Industrial Hemp Act
The 2014 Farm Act created new federal legislation for the return of hemp production. Later, this led to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill, secured by Senator Mitch McConnell, removed industrial hemp from the list of controlled substances distinct from marijuana if it is grown and manufactured in accordance with state and federal regulations.
Of course various prescription medications and other drugs are listed on the state's list of controlled substances, but what does it say about Delta-8 THC?
Luckily for Delta-8 THC users, KRS 218A.010(27)(a) - (f) (described in an earlier section) helped to remove tetrahydrocannabinols from the Schedule I Controlled Substances List where it states:
The following shall be exempt from control as a Schedule I substance: (a) Cannabis plant material, and products made therefrom, that contain tetrahydrocannabinols pursuant to the exemption established in 21 C.F.R. 1308.35; and (b) Any substance or product exempt from the definition of marijuana pursuant to KRS 218A.010(27)(a) - (f).
The state of Kentucky has made exceptions for hemp products provided they don't contain the actual hemp flower. Delta-8-THC is legal and accessible as long as it was derived from legally produced industrial hemp plants. Reading the list of controlled substances, lawmakers clearly state the difference between hemp and marijuana. Further, there aren't Delta 8 THC Possession Limits other than ensuring the product in possession doesn't exceed the .3% Delta-9 THC threshold.
Buying and Shipping Delta 8 in Kentucky
Since Delta 8 is legal in the State of Kentucky, industrial hemp products are considered legal hemp products for residents which can be purchased online or in-store. Delta-8 sales, excluding hemp flower, can be delivered with a shipping address located in the state.
“A Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s Health Issues Poll last year found 59% support for allowing adults to buy and use cannabis “under any circumstances” while 49% of respondents supported recreational cannabis legalization." - TG Branfalt Ganjapreneur.com