Delta 8 THC shares some of the same benefits and the same psychoactive effects shared with federally illegal marijuana plants, so it makes sense that people are left wondering "Is Delta 8 legal?".
Well, there is good news for those who live in Kentucky. Delta 8 THC and other hemp-derived products are legal to purchase, use, possess, sell, distribute, and manufacture in Kentucky.
Is Delta 8 legal in Kentucky?
Currently, Kentucky state law conforms with federal legislation which views Delta 8 THC and other hemp products, as being fully legal. The passing of the Agriculture Improvement Act, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill. The passing of this bill is what changed the law, federally legalizing hemp.
The passing of this bill made all hemp-derived cannabinoids, isomers, terpenes, and flavonoids legal at the federal level as long as they stayed within the legal limit of 0.3% Delta 9 THC. This definition of cannabis plants such as hemp helps protect retailers in Kentucky who offer Delta 8 for sale.
Federal law and state law surrounding marijuana-derived THC remain a different story in Kentucky and it looks to be a long shot from being legalized anytime soon. At least for now, those in Kentucky can legally enjoy Delta 8 and other CBD products.
Delta 8 State Legislation in Kentucky
In 2020, the legality of Delta 8 at the federal level was called into question, this caused a total of 18 states to reevaluate their stance on cannabis products due to concerns over their manufacturing methods, which have some considering this cannabinoid to be synthetic.
In April 2021, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's legal team released a memo declaring that Delta 8 was prohibited within the state by categorizing it as a controlled substance. This announcement elicited a strong response from both Delta 8 retailers and hemp farmers operating within the state.
After this announcement, some Delta 8 retailers faced police raids, leading the Kentucky Hemp Association to take legal action and request a temporary injunction to prevent further raids. The injunction was granted by a judge, keeping Delta 8 temporarily legal. Despite this, subsequent legislation in the form of Senate Bill 170 aimed at banning Delta 8 in the state was not successful.
Later in the year, a permanent injunction was filed which solidified the legal status of Delta 8, declaring it a legal derivative of hemp after over a year of deliberation. This was a major win for the Kentucky hemp Association as well as for the residents of Kentucky.
Katie Moyer, president of the Kentucky Hemp Association later stated, "This is a huge win for farmers and retailers of hemp derivatives in the Commonwealth." We would also argue that this is also a huge win for the cannabis industry.
Where to buy Delta 8 THC in Kentucky?
Thanks to the permanent injunction that was filed in August of 2022 paired with the bill signed by state governor Andy Beshear, you can still purchase Delta 8 and other hemp-derived THC in Kentucky.
These products can be purchased in person at many CBD stores and vape shops. You will find Delta 8 in most smoke shops in major cities like Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, and Owensboro.
Of course, buying Delta 8 online is oftentimes the most convenient way to buy Delta 8. Those in Kentucky have plenty of ways to get their hands on hemp-derived products at reasonable prices. Plus, ordering Delta 8 online usually results in lower prices compared to what can be found at local vape shops.
What is Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC is another form of THC that is found naturally in the cannabis plant. It, however, is found in very small trace amounts. It is just one of over 100 other cannabinoids that comprise the cannabis plant.
Delta 8 THC is a psychoactive compound, which does produce intoxicating effects, meaning it does give users a "high", but to a much lesser degree than that of Delta 9 THC. Overall, Delta 8 THC falls in the middle ground between CBD (hemp-derived cannabidiol) and regular THC (Delta 9 THC). As a cannabinoid, the potential benefits that Delta 8 THC brings to the table are very appealing to many.
Are Delta 8 products safe?
It is often advised to steer clear of buying hemp products sold from places like gas stations and convenience stores. They can potentially be unsafe, improperly labeled, or not fulfill the federal regulations and requirements to remain legal.
Remember, when purchasing Delta 8 THC or any other hemp products, it is in your best interest to purchase high-quality products from reputable brands and trusted online retailers. This will ensure you are getting a federally legal product that has been third-party lab tested. Third-party lab testing will prove the THC concentration is within the 0.3% federal requirement.
Lastly, the lab analysis will indicate your hemp products are free of common contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides, and solvents that can potentially remain from the manufacturing process.
Is recreational marijuana legal in Kentucky?
No, the state of Kentucky strictly prohibits recreational marijuana use, possession, sale, distribution, production, or manufacturing. This also includes Delta 8 products that are derived from marijuana.
Possession of marijuana in the state can result in strict punishment and penalties. At a minimum, you will face a fine and potentially jail time.
Recreational marijuana possession of small amounts (anything up to 10 ounces) is considered a class B misdemeanor which can result in up to 45 days in jail and a maximum fine of $250.
Possession of larger amounts (anything over 10 ounces) could result in a charge of intent to sell or distribute or traffic with a punishment of up to five years in jail and a maximum $10,000 fine.
Is medical marijuana legal in Kentucky?
No, Kentucky does not permit medical marijuana under Kentucky state law and as such, the use, possession, sale, purchase, distribution, production, and manufacture of medical marijuana is prohibited.
Although that hasn't stopped Kentucky from attempting to change this. In 2015, there were attempts by Kentucky lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana through the introduction of House Bill 3 and Senate Bill 40, which aimed to establish a regulatory framework for the substance. Unfortunately, neither bill progressed beyond the committee stage.
Subsequently, in 2020, Representative Jason Nemes from Louisville introduced HB. 136, a significant piece of legislation that aimed to legalize medical marijuana while prohibiting the use of smokeable flower and the cultivation of cannabis at home.
The bill was passed by the House with ease, but unfortunately, its progress was interrupted by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. It was re-presented in January 2022 but was not successful, leaving the state in a place where it still does not permit medical marijuana use.
The history of the DEA's view of Delta 8 in Kentucky
The history of the DEA's stance on Delta 8 has not always been in favor of keeping Delta 8 legal. In September of 2020, the DEA issued an Interim Final Rule covering the legal status of synthetic THC products.
The stance the DEA took is that they believe all synthetically derived THC should be considered a Schedule 1 drug and therefore remain on the Controlled Substances Act regardless of it being from the hemp plant.
Even though Delta 8 THC is a naturally occurring cannabis chemical, Delta 8 THC is a minor cannabinoid making up only 1% of cannabis plants. It is found in such small quantities that it is producers must convert it from CBD in a chemical process using specialized chemicals under lab conditions. That process is viewed by some as being man-made or synthetically produced.
Others view the process as having nothing to do with whether or not Delta 8 THC is considered synthetic. Since CBD is found naturally to occur in the cannabis plant the extraction methods used bear little weight as to whether it should be considered synthetic or not.
What does the future of Delta 8 look like for Kentucky?
Delta 8 made its way into Kentucky with a rocky start, to say the least. This incredibly popular cannabinoid came out on top and is still readily available to purchase but what about the future?
State laws, especially laws on the topic of cannabis and hemp are not destined to remain forever. They seem to be constantly evolving. So, unless Senate Bill 170, which aimed to take Delta 8 off the table in 2022 comes back, it's safe to say that Delta 8 THC and other hemp products will remain legal in the state of Kentucky.
Frequently asked questions?
Is Delta 8 legal to buy in Kentucky?
Yes, federal law permits Delta 8 to be bought and sold in Kentucky. While the use, possession, purchase, sale, and production of marijuana is illegal, Delta 8 products remain legal and allowed in the state.
Is CBD legal in Kentucky?
Yes, this nonintoxicating chemical derived from hemp is legal as well. Consumers can fully use and enjoy CBD and Delta 8 products without the worry of breaking Kentucky state laws.
Can you pass a drug test with Delta 8 in Kentucky?
No, because Delta 8 is a form of THC. THC metabolites will be present in your body when using Delta 8. Standard drug tests do not differentiate between THC that is legally derived from hemp or medical and recreational marijuana.
Can you travel to Kentucky with Delta 8?
Because the use and possession of Delta 8 and other hemp products is legal in Kentucky and federal law permits it, you can legally travel to and within the state with Delta 8 as long as the products are hemp derived. You cannot travel into or possess marijuana or marijuana-derived THC products while in Tennessee.
Is possession of Delta-8 a felony in Kentucky?
No, the legal status of hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products in Kentucky remains fully legal. You should keep in mind that police officers may have a tough time indicating whether or not some products are legal Delta 8.
It is in your best interest to keep all hemp products in their original packaging which should include a QR code for lab testing, proving that the product is a federally compliant hemp product.
What happens if I get pulled over in Kentucky with Delta-8?
While Delta 8 THC is legal in the state, you should not drive or operate a vehicle while under the influence. Doing so may result in prosecution.
Delta-8 and hemp products are rapidly gaining popularity as the go-to cannabinoid for those seeking more mild and more smooth psychoactive effects.
Especially now, with Delta 8's current legal status in Kentucky protected, we expect to see continued growth in popularity for this legal derivative of THC. This paired with the continued legalization of cannabis that we see happening across the United States is all good news for the cannabis industry as a whole.
Plus, the hemp industry in Kentucky is thriving, and Delta-8 is poised to become a major source of revenue within the state in the coming years.
Despite the opposing views of some officials at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the hemp industry in the state is expected to continue advocating for the use of Delta-8 and other hemp-derived extracts over the next few years especially as medical and recreational marijuana continues to be outlawed.
If you are in Kentucky and looking to buy Delta 8 online, check out the large selection of Delta 8 products that we have to offer. You will find top-quality Delta 8 brands at unbeatable prices on all your favorite Delta 8 gummies, disposable vapes, vape carts, and so much more.
*By using this website, you agree to and are subject to the following Legal Disclaimer, which is part of our Terms of Service. The information provided on this website does not and is not intended to, constitute legal advice or reliable statements of the status of any laws.