Yo, what’s up guys? It’s your boy Dan comin’ at ya with the latest news from Kentucky. The Kentucky House of Representatives just voted in favor of a new bill to regulate the production and sale of delta-8 THC. This psychoactive compound is synthesized from legal hemp CBD and has been causing some safety concerns, especially for young people. The bill was approved unanimously by a vote of 97-0 and is now headed to the state Senate for consideration.
During the debate on Thursday, lawmakers talked about how they’ve been hearing appeals from school and law enforcement officials to restrict sales of delta-8 THC. Republican House Speaker Pro Tempore David Mead expressed concerns about the safety risks that products containing delta-8 THC pose to young people. Apparently, some have even overdosed on the product. That’s not cool, man.
If House Bill 544 gets passed by the state Senate and signed into law, it will task the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services with drafting administrative regulations for the production and sale of delta-8 products in the state. The guidelines included in this legislation mandate that the regulations ban the sale of delta-8 to anyone younger than 21 years old. They also require delta-8 products to be kept behind retail sales counters and for packaging to clearly state the ingredients contained in the products.
The lead sponsor of House Bill 544, Republican Representative Rebecca Raymer, said that unregulated delta-8 THC threatens farmers and business owners in Kentucky’s growing hemp industry. She believes that “these products have no standards for production” and that “if someone were to purchase Delta-8, they have no way of determining if it is safe.” That’s why she thinks this measure will both protect consumers and enhance the industry.
House Bill 544 has the support of many business owners and hemp industry representatives, both in Kentucky and nationwide. Jonathan Miller, general counsel to the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, called it “strong legislation” to regulate delta-8 THC and keep it away from young people. John Taylor, founder and chief executive officer of hemp processor Commonwealth Extracts in Louisville, told lawmakers in the House that Kentucky’s legitimate hemp operators back the legislation as well. They all want regulations because it gets rid of the bad actors who make it hard to compete.
Katie Moyer, board president of the Kentucky Hemp Association, said that Kentucky delta-8 consumers face a “Wild West situation” in the state. Products are sold at gas stations, health food stores, and other retail outlets containing ingredients “coming from who knows where.” That sounds sketchy as hell.
In May 2023, a federal appeals court ruled that delta-8 THC is legal under federal law. This prompted many states to propose legislation to regulate the cannabinoid that is commonly available at convenience stores, smoke shops, and gas stations, particularly in states that have not legalized marijuana. Last year, the Kentucky state Senate passed a bill banning the production of intoxicating hemp-derived products including delta-8 THC by a vote of 23-13, but the House of Representatives declined to approve the measure.
As the debate over delta-8 THC ramped up early last year, the U.S. Hemp Roundtable said in a statement that the marketing of intoxicating hemp products threatens the development of a robust hemp industry. They want regulators to enforce existing laws to target their efforts on cracking down on intoxicating products marketed as hemp that threaten public health and safety.
So there you have it guys. The Kentucky House just approved a bill to regulate delta-8 THC. It still needs to go through some more steps before it becomes law, but it looks like everyone’s on board with regulating this stuff for our own safety. Stay safe out there, peeps!