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Kentucky Bill SB 170: The Latest Attack on Delta 8

Kentucky Senator Paul Hornback has introduced Senate Bill 170 (SB 170) proposing a ban on the production, sale, and possession of all ‘intoxicating hemp derived products’ including Delta 8, Delta 10, THC-O, THC-P, HHC, and potentially other cannabinoids. This bill, if passed, would have a significant impact on the hemp industry in Kentucky and could set a precedent for other states to push similar bills.

In this article, we will explore the fight for legality of hemp products in Kentucky, the current status of Delta 8 and other cannabinoids in the state, what SB 170 seeks to do, and how you can help keep hemp derived products legal.

The Fight for Legality of Hemp Products in Kentucky

Kentucky is no stranger to attempts at regulating the hemp industry through prohibitive bills that seek to limit access to hemp products for millions of Kentuckians. In 2017, Kentucky banned hemp flower, including buds, kief, pre-rolls, and other raw hemp products. Only businesses with a hemp license issued by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture are allowed to handle or process hemp flower to make extracts or derivatives of hemp extracts, such as Delta 8.

The Current Status of Delta 8 and Other Cannabinoids in Kentucky

On April 19th, 2021, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture released a memo claiming that Delta 8 is illegal under both federal and state law because it appears by name on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s controlled substances list. However, the DEA published an interim final rule regarding hemp in August 2020, stating that the DEA’s controlled substances list does not supersede the 2018 Farm Bill, making Delta 8 legal.

Additionally, KRS 260.850 (which concerns the definitions of Kentucky’s industrial hemp program) makes no mention of Delta 8. It defines hemp products as “products derived from, or made by, processing hemp plants or plant parts,” and only limits delta 9 concentrations to “not more than three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) on a dry weight basis.” This shows that Delta 8 is not only federally legal but also legal according to Kentucky law.

After the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s memo was released, storefront raids occurred, prompting the Kentucky Hemp Association to take legal action. Boone County Circuit Judge Richard Brueggemann filed a temporary injunction, ruling in favor of the Kentucky Hemp Association, temporarily preventing police from conducting any more raids, and ensuring that Delta 8 remains functionally legal. While the injunction is only temporary, it’s likely that Judge Richard Brueggemann’s order will be upheld when court resumes in April.

What Would SB 170 Do?

Unfortunately, SB 170 seeks to ban all ‘intoxicating hemp derived substances’ in the state. Delta 8 concentrations would be limited to naturally occurring trace amounts of less than 0.001%, or less than one thousandth. It would also ban Delta 10, THC-O, THC-P, HHC, and any other cannabinoid deemed to be ‘intoxicating’ by the state legislature. If signed into law, SB 170 would prevent many Kentuckians from accessing hemp derived cannabinoids.

How Can You Help?

If you live in Kentucky, you can help by calling the Legislative Message Line at 1-800-372-7181 and leaving a message for your Senator, Representative, Senator Paul Hornback, Senate Agriculture Committee, and Senate Leadership. You can also sign a petition to stop SB 170 from banning Delta 8 and other hemp derived cannabinoids. Together, we can help keep these cannabinoids legal.

In conclusion, the legality of hemp-derived products, including Delta 8 THC and other hemp-derived cannabinoids have become increasingly popular in recent years, with many users claiming they offer therapeutic benefits without the psychoactive effects associated with Delta 9 THC. However, the legality of these products remains a topic of debate, particularly in states like Kentucky where legislators have introduced bills seeking to ban them.

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