Delta-8 THC hemp products are legal in Kentucky, judge rules

A Kentucky judge has sided with the state hemp industry over law enforcement, ruling that products containing delta-8 THC derived from hemp are legal, a hemp trade association said in a news release.

The Kentucky Hemp Association – which sued the state over the issue a year ago – celebrated the ruling as “a huge win for farmers and retailers.”

Police had begun raiding licensed Kentucky hemp shops in an effort to crack down on the delta-8 THC market.

The enforcement stemmed from the state Department of Agriculture releasing a letter that referred to delta-8 THC hemp products as a “Schedule 1 controlled substance,” illegal under U.S. law, despite the federal legalization of hemp in 2018.

The Kentucky Hemp Association (KHA) then sued the department, the state agriculture commissioner and the state police commissioner to halt the raids.

“These delta-8 raids on retailers were … a challenge we were ready and willing to face in order to protect retailers of Kentucky Proud Hemp products,” KHA Vice President Tate Hall said in the release.

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Some parts of the lawsuit were dismissed, including a request for a permanent injunction against the agriculture department, which means hemp farmers could still lose their state licenses over delta-8 THC, the KHA release said.

But the central ruling upheld the legality of hemp and delta-8 THC products, the KHA asserted.