Medically Reviewed By:Nidra Sidhu, M.D. Integrative Medicine
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Is Delta 8 Legal In Kentucky? Where To Buy Delta 8 In KY?
Delta 8, the most recent cannabidiol to hit the cannabis market, gained popularity from its psychoactive properties, which are quite similar to that of delta 9.
The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, legalized hemp and its derived products federally in the US. At the same time, it gave all states the power to legalize hemp and its derived products like delta 8 on a state level.
In this article, we answer any questions that you might have regarding Kentucky delta 8 laws, including the question of when did delta 8 become illegal in Kentucky and where to buy delta 8 in KY now.
What exactly is Delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 THC is often used by many people to manage chronic pain and everyday stress but exactly what is delta 8 THC?
Delta 8 is a compound naturally found in industrial hemp and cannabis. These plants contain more than 100 phytocannabinoids, including delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC.
Delta 8 THC is a compound that is produced in the hemp plant, however, its produced in small quantities, and this makes extracting it naturally in large quantities almost impossible. Fortunately, delta 9 THC and CBD from the industrial hemp plant can be converted to delta 8 using a chemical process called oxidation.
Delta 8 THC is an isomer of delta 9 THC. What this means is that delta 8 and delta 9 have the same chemical formula with different structural arrangements and properties. Both delta 8 and delta 9 have a double carbon bond in their chemical formula, the double bond of delta 8 is found on the eighth carbon while that of delta 9 happens on the ninth carbon hence their respective names. This difference makes them have slightly different effects.
The delta 8 THC found in hemp is psychoactive, it can cause a high similar to the high associated with taking delta 9 THC. Users describe the delta 8 high as being therapeutic, unlike the high from delta 9 THC, which is more intense and can sometimes cause paranoia.
Kentucky Delta 8 Laws
Currently, delta 8 is legal in Kentucky. On the 3rd of August 2022, delta 8 became permanently legal in the state. This was a victory for the Kentucky Hemp Association following a year-long court battle between the Association and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KYDA), and the Kentucky police.
The past confusion surrounding Kentucky delta 8 laws has now been settled. It appears that Kentucky hemp farmers and delta 8 THC retailers are in the clear to operate legal delta 8 THC businesses, especially after the attempt by Kentucky lawmakers to ban delta 8 THC completely also failed in March 2022.
At one point, Senate Bill 170 was introduced to prohibit the production of intoxicating hemp products, including delta 8, but this was unsuccessful, and the bill died in committee.
How Did Delta 8 Become Legal in Kentucky?
The 2018 Farm Bill helped legalize hemp and hemp products on a federal government level and gave states the power to legalize it on a state level if they so desired. The bill removed hemp from the definition of marijuana and declassified it as a controlled substance.
Federally, hemp was defined as the plant Cannabis sativa L. including any part of that plant, ie. seeds, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not over 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis. This definition created a loophole in federal laws for delta 8 and other hemp-derived products not containing more than 0.3% THC to become federally legal.
Acting under the new Farm Bill law, Kentucky lawmakers aligned their state laws to the federal laws making delta 8 legal in Kentucky for the first time. This paved way for manufacturers and retailers of delta 8 to run their businesses legally. However, this legal status was soon to change.
When Did Delta 8 Become Illegal in Kentucky?
We know that delta 8 is federally legal and that it became legal in Kentucky, but then the status changed. So how and when did delta 8 become illegal in Kentucky?
The Kentucky DOA, in April 2021, released a letter (guidance) to Kentucky hemp license holders claiming that “delta 8 THC is a schedule I controlled substance under federal law and Kentucky laws and that distributing products containing delta 8 is illegal and could lead to expulsion from the hemp licensing program and potential exposure to criminal prosecution”.
In this letter, the Kentucky DOA also claimed that the approved legal limit for delta 9 THC was 0.03%, and since there was no such limit made specifically for delta 8 in the federal hemp laws, it was an illegal substance, and it was therefore prohibited by both federal law and state laws.
Delta 8 Raids In Kentucky
The KYDA’s letter resulted in licensed hemp farmers and delta 8 retailers being punished by the Kentucky police for possession of delta 8. The Kentucky state police raided licensed hemp shops and seized delta 8 products using the Kentucky DOA’s guidance as justification for the raids.
The Kentucky Hemp Association (KYHA), following these delta 8 raids in Kentucky, fought back by asking the General Counsel of the KYDA to rescind the guidance about delta 8 being an illegal substance and to issue new guidance.
The Kentucky Hemp Association Files A Lawsuit
The Kentucky Kemp Association filed a lawsuit against the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Kentucky State Police after the KYDA failed to rescind its newly released guidance on delta 8 THC. The lawsuit argued that delta 8 was, in fact, federally legal, and the police raids were unwarranted hence the court should stop the Kentucky state police from acting on the KYDA’s letter.
A Boone Circuit Court Judge, Rick Brueggemann, ruled in favor of the Kentucky hemp association and supported delta 8 THC being a legally derived hemp product. A permanent injunction was placed against local law enforcement to protect retailers from being charged with criminal offenses. This was indeed a huge win for delta 8 THC manufacturers and retailers.
So, is delta 8 legal in KY? The answer is that it is once again fully legal.
Is Medical Marijuana Legal In Kentucky?
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is in agreement with states like Missouri, Ohio, and Illinois that have legalized medical marijuana allowing ailing patients to use it in managing their pain. For this reason, he stated he would take executive actions to permit medical cannabis if House Bill 136 wasn’t approved in the Senate.
House Bill 136, a medical cannabis act, was introduced in January 2022, the bill made it past the committee, but unfortunately, it died in the Senate. This bill would have created a medical cannabis program for Kentuckians to access marijuana for medical purposes.
After the Bill died, Governor Andy Beshear, through an executive order, appointed a 17-member Kentucky Medical Cannabis Committee that will help advise him on providing access to medical cannabis for Kentuckians suffering from chronic pain and other medical conditions.
Buying Delta 8 From Industrial Hemp In Kentucky
So where can I purchase delta 8? Is It like cannabis?
Since delta 8 became popular, we have seen a rise in delta 8 vendors across the state and country. Delta 8 is being sold online, in convenience stores, dispensaries, smoke and vape shops, and even gas stations.
However, we advise that you purchase your delta 8 online because while shopping at a local store might be a fast way of getting your hands on delta 8, it is not always safe. Buying your delta 8 edibles online is safe and comes with other great benefits such as:
In the rush to stock their store shelves with THC products and make profits, some retailers stock cheap products which are low in quality or exceed the legal limit of delta 9 THC. This puts not only your health at risk but also puts you in trouble with state laws if caught with products containing more than the legal threshold.
Buying delta 8 online eliminates the middleman fees that increase the cost of products from retailers. Buying directly from a delta 8 supplier will reduce the prices since most of them offer discounts, coupons, and subscriptions for regular buyers.
If you are a person who values their privacy, then you will enjoy buying delta 8 online. It is very discreet; delta 8 delivery comes in plain and unmarked boxes and mostly without company logos. Also, some delta 8 suppliers accept cryptocurrency or Paypal as a mode of payment if you would rather not pay for your hemp products with your credit card.
Buying THC online is convenient and stress-free. With just your device and an internet connection, you will be able to place an order for delta 8 THC to be delivered to you at your doorstep.
Since the FDA doesn’t regulate the delta 8 THC market, there is a high chance for fake products to be released on the market, and that is why you need to be careful when buying delta 8 products. Research the brand to see if they are federally compliant before you make a purchasing decision.
Can you buy delta 8 in KY? Yes, delta 8 THC is now permanently legal in Kentucky following a Boone Circuit Court Judge’s ruling on a lawsuit against the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the State Police after the popular delta 8 raids in Kentucky.
Medicinal marijuana and recreational cannabis are still illegal in Kentucky, and possession is punishable by a fine or jail term, depending on the quantity a person is caught with.
Wondering where to buy Kentucky proud hemp products? You have two options. THC can be purchased from local stores and online stores. However, it is more advisable to buy delta 8 products online. Purchasing delta 8 online is convenient and discreet, prices are better, and quality is guaranteed.
Finally, ensure you always buy products that are federally compliant (no more than 0.3% delta 9 THC) and pass FDA regulations, as this protects you from consuming harmful hemp products and avoids possible issues with state law.
If you are looking for premium quality, lab-tested THC products, we recommend you try our federally compliant delta 8 edibles.
Legal Disclaimer: Always consult an attorney for the best legal advice regarding THC and your state law, as the material shared here is for informational purposes only.
Clayton is a Senior Content Specialist, researcher, and holistic healthcare practitioner. Having been in the supplement industry for more than 15 years, Clayton brings a wealth of experience to the delta 8 space. His publications include alternative therapy, stress and coping, and alternative health.