After a green light from Kentucky’s House and Senate, a bill regulating delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol has headed to Governor Andy Beshear’s desk for his signature.
Delta-8 THC is an intoxicating cannabinoid that naturally occurs in hemp, but in minute quantities. However, it can be created by manipulating the non-intoxicating cannabinoid CBD, which exists in some types of hemp in large quantities. The production and sale of delta-8 using a legal loophole has come under increasing scrutiny in many US states given various concerns, including in Kentucky.
Governor Beshear issued an executive order in November last year directing the regulation of delta-8 THC and a bill that has now passed in the House and Senate will make this a reality.
HB 544, sponsored by Representative Rebecca Raymer, directs the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) to immediately begin the process of regulating products of hemp-derived substances and requires it to promulgate an emergency administrative regulation by August 1, 2023, with required provisions.
Commenting on the bill recently after it cleared the House unanimously before heading to the Senate for its consideration, Rep. Raymer said:
“The Kentucky hemp program is a staple for our agricultural community, but the selling and usage of unregulated THC is a danger to every Kentuckian who may use it. These products have no standards for production. If someone were to purchase delta-8, they have no way of determining if it is safe. This measure will both protect our consumers and enhance the industry.”
HB 544 has the blessing of various other parties, including the Kentucky Hemp Association. The Association supports the ongoing availability of delta-8 in the state, assuming it is properly regulated. After a court case last year that determined delta 8 THC was a legal hemp-derivative, the Association’s president said the decision was a “huge win for farmers and retailers of hemp derivatives in the Commonwealth.”
HB 544 is expected to be signed by Governor Beshear – and likely sooner rather than later as he appeared to be pretty keen to get the delta-8 situation under control in his state.