Kentucky bill regulating production and sale of delta-8 THC awaiting Governor’s signature

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If passed, the law would prohibit the sale of delta-8 THC or any other hemp-derived substance with an intoxicating effects on consumers to those under the age of 21, while also setting standards for the production and sale of said products.

Photo Credit © Jiri Hera - Stock.adobe.com

Photo Credit © Jiri Hera - Stock.adobe.com

On Thursday, March 16, 2023, Kentucky House Bill 544 was passed by the Senate and delivered to the governor for signature. The legislation would direct the “Cabinet for Health and Family Services to immediately begin the process of regulating delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol and any other hemp-derived substances.” If passed, the law would prohibit the sale of “delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol or any other hemp-derived substance identified by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services as having intoxicating effects on consumers,” to those under the age of 21, while also setting standards for the production and sale of said products.

The legislation has been praised by trade groups and Kentucky business owners. “Unregulated intoxicating products pose a health crisis for Kentucky and the nation, but measures to criminalize these products are not prudent,” said Jonathan Miller, general counsel of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, in a statement. “HB 544 cuts the perfect balance by ensuring strict regulations that will keep children from accessing these adult products. We think it will serve for a model for the nation as state legislatures look to address this issue.”

“House Bill 544 is another step toward legitimacy for Kentucky’s hemp industry, especially for farmers and processors looking beyond CBD. While seed and fiber struggle to take off, hemp-derived cannabinoids are fueling growth, helping small businesses expand into other areas," said Katie Moyer, president of the Kentucky Hemp Association, and owner of Kentucky Hemp Works, in a statement. “This legislation helps Kentucky farmers sell their crops and provides consumers with common-sense safety guidelines, but the ultimate goal is keeping it from being abused by children."

The bill passed unanimously in both the Kentucky House and Senate.

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