Kentucky lawmakers advanced a bill regulating hemp-derived Delta-8 THC products, sending it to Gov. Andy Beshear for final action, reported Kentucky Health News.
House Bill 544 from state Rep. Rebecca Raymer (R-Morgantown) was sent to the state Senate for consideration earlier this month after being approved in a 97-0 vote in the Kentucky House of Representatives.
What’s In It?
Under the measure, those under 21 will be prohibited from purchasing Delta-8 THC products. The bill also obliges retailers to keep the products behind a counter. In addition, it would put guidelines for labeling and a testing and approval process for all products.
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has until Aug. 1 to start with the process of regulating Delta-8 THC and any other hemp-derived substances.
“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,” Raymer said in a press release. “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.”
What Is Delta-8 THC?
Delta-8 THC is a chemical component of the cannabis plant, and although it occurs naturally in very small concentrations, it can produce mild psychoactive effects in some people, similar to Delta-9 THC (the compound that gets you high).
New industrial methodologies enable the controversial Delta-8 THC to be converted from CBD derived from hemp. Products developed due to the 2018 federal Farm Bill that legalized hemp are, therefore not subject to the exact testing requirements as cannabis, creating a legal loophole.
In November, Beshear regulated the sale of Delta-8 by signing an executive order alongside another order regulating cannabis, even though the substance has yet to be federally scheduled.
“Right now, there are no checks on how it is packaged and sold. We must establish a regulatory structure to ensure that Delta 8 is sold and purchased safely in the commonwealth,” Beshear said earlier. “The structure can and will also serve as a template for when the General Assembly fully legalizes medical cannabis. That means we can learn in real-time, train our people, and be ready to go.”
Photo: Courtesy of Matteo Paganelli on Unsplash
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