Kentucky gives initial OK to emergency rule for intoxicating hemp products

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A key legislative subcommittee in Kentucky approved an emergency rule designed to regulate intoxicating hemp-derived products differently than nonintoxicating products.

It’s the third time the regulations have been amended, according to news website Kentucky Today, and the emergency rule will remain in effect until April 27, 2024.

The most recent amendments added were:

  • Requirements for processing and manufacturing.
  • Implementing U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards to product testing requirements.
  • A registry for retailers.

Katelyn Wiard of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable said during testimony that there are still some issues with the amended emergency rule, including the fact products classified for “adults” must contain a lower amount of THC than a 25-1 CBD-to-THC ratio.

Wiard also said the rule’s $200-per-product fee will also be tough on hemp cultivators, Kentucky Today reported.

Jim Higdon, a co-founder of Louisville-based Cornbread Hemp, noted that the hemp industry will be regulated by two different agencies – the Department of Agriculture and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services

“This double regulation could become confusing or contradictory, especially since the two entities are run by constitutional statewide officeholders of different political parties,” Higdon said, according to Kentucky Today.

A final version of the regulation must be approved in the spring by the General Assembly’s Administrative Regulations Review Subcommittee.

In 2022, after raids on stores selling hemp-derived products, a judge ruled that intoxicating hemp products are legal under 2018 Farm Bill.