Kentucky makes the headlines for two reasons, the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Speedway. Other than that, Kentucky tends to themselves, so I was interested in seeing where Kentucky went with their Delta-8 THC laws. I had a guest from Kentucky who told me that they weren’t too fond of it at that time, but there was a lot of confusion with the legality. It sounded like the county was having an issue with it—which is typical; Forsyth County in Georgia quickly removed delta-8 products. But they’ve made headway with medical marijuana here now. What about Delta-8 THC? It’s essential to understand that Kentucky is a big deal in the white house, making them a big deal regarding the Farm Bill. Yes, Delta-THC is federally legal and state-wide in Kentucky.
Kentucky is home to the former Republican Senator, now a congressman and former majority leader, Mitch McConnell’s home state. Along with Rand Paul, McConnell had an integral role in the Farm Bill dating back to 2011. However, it was Senator Rand Paul who brought concerns to the forefront. The state front bill came into legislation in 2013 with the Kentucky House Bill 236. The guidelines were agriculture set into motion for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the handling of the cultivation. This is where the idea of the legal limit of 0.3% Delta-9 THC originated. With every first round of bills comes the heavy-handed editing process. We are looking at seven years, four bills. The rest of the subsequent major bills include several revisions of the Kentucky Senate Bill 50, Kentucky Senate Bill 218, Kentucky House Bill 333, and Kentucky House Bill 236. These compiled bills were answered on the federal level with the 2014 Farm Act. It was this bill that became the model for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
So, it’s difficult to know their motive; we tend to configure politicians in a way that favors our bias—but they’ve been adamant about making America a leader in the hemp world. Either way, this state is why Delta-8 THC was removed as a Schedule I drug. After its removal, there weren’t possession limitations for Delta-8 THC. After the Farm Bill of 2018, the majority approved moving across state boundaries. And now, here we are. So how do those that created this industry feel about it? Mitch McConnell directed the “DEA to figure out how to distinguish hemp from marijuana.” He has done his best to protect hemp farming, even directing the FDA to figure out how companies can openly market CBD products.
Delta-8 THC is legal, both federally and state in Kentucky because their politicians are the ones who shaped the bill. But the regular stance is still there; it has to be hemp-derived, with the delta-9 THC being the legal limit of 0.3%. We can indeed thank them for providing us with industry, and Kentuckians thanked them by re-electing them. But it’s important to remember that they’re against any marijuana right now. But in November, Kentuckians were head over heels about the future of decriminalizing for those “21 and older to possess, use, buy and sell up to an ounce of cannabis without criminal penalty.” Dreams do come true.