A bill introduced in Kentucky – which passed the Senate earlier this month – seeks to ban delta-8 THC products in the state, according to a Spectrum News report. The proposal comes following a February decision by a Boone County Circuit Court judge that imposed a temporary injunction on officials cracking down on the products in lieu of specific legislation outlawing the compound. That lawsuit was brought by the Kentucky Hemp Association.
State Sen. Paul Hornback (R), who led the effort to legalize hemp in the state, said that while he doesn’t want hemp production to be impeded in the state, he believes the industry is “growing in the wrong direction … with a product that is hazardous to the public.”
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture had previously warned hemp growers and processors that distributing delta-8 products is illegal, claiming it is considered a controlled substance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Dee Dee Taylor, founder and CEO of 502 Hemp and Wellness Center, said that if the bill is approved “it would be detrimental.” She said that her customers use the products most commonly for sleep and anxiety.
“I mean, it will completely decimate the entire hemp industry,” she said.
In a statement last July, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture argued that delta-8 products are not derived naturally from the hemp plant and are lab-made, which excludes them from the hemp reforms. The agency also claimed that producers use “battery acid and pool chemicals” to make delta-8 products from hemp.
“Now, some want to argue that lawmakers accidentally legalized an intoxicating synthetic substance called Delta-8 THC,” the agency said in the statement. “This position is outside the mainstream, so much so that even Colorado – a state known for legalizing recreational marijuana – has banned Delta-8 THC products.”
The proposal is currently in the Senate Agriculture Committee and Committee on Committees.