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Delta-8 THC is Now Legal in Kentucky, Judge Rules

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Aug 09, 2022   
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Delta-8 THC is now considered a legal derivative of hemp in the state of Kentucky, according to the Kentucky Hemp Association.

On Wednesday, August 3, Judge Rick Brueggemann of the Boone Circuit Court declared delta-8 to be a legal derivative of hemp and issued an injunction against law enforcement preventing them from charging retailers and hemp producers for selling the popular cannabis compound.

The ruling follows a year of legal disputes between the Kentucky Hemp Association, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA), and Kentucky State Police.

Last April, the KDA sent a letter to hemp license holders, informing them that delta-8 was prohibited under federal law. The letter quickly led to police raids on businesses that sold delta-8 products.

The Kentucky Hemp Association then sued the KDA. And on August 3, in state court, it got the result it wanted.

“This is a huge win for farmers and retailers of hemp derivatives in the Commonwealth,” the association’s president, Katie Moyer, said in a statement.

According to the Kentucky Hemp Association, a portion of its lawsuit against the KDA was dismissed due to a lack of standing, but the final ruling found delta-8 to be a legal derivative of hemp.

Delta-8 THC has a slightly different molecular structure to its more famous relative, delta-9 THC (commonly known as THC), which helped it initially evade many of the rules and restrictions that govern the sale THC in the US. Yet delta-8 can still induce highs comparable to its more prohibited cousin.

Naturally, then, the US has experienced a boom of delta-8 THC popularity over the two years, much to the concern of industry analysts. Given the often clandestine way the compound is produced, many cannabis chemists and industry regulators have argued that delta-8 products pose a health risk to consumers, especially minors.


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