October 27, 2023

Positive Progress In Kentucky

You may recall that, following the enactment of HB 544, Kentucky issued an emergency regulation for the sale of adult hemp-derived cannabinoid products, such as delta-8 THC. While diligently crafted, the regulation posed a number of concerns that could have severely stifled the industry. Incorporating stakeholder and consumer input, the U.S. Hemp Roundtable met twice with Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) leadership, and submitted formal comments, encouraging important modifications.

KDPH issued revised regulations earlier this month, and we’re proud to share that almost all of our recommendations were adopted. Among others, the latest regulation make several key changes that reflected our advocacy:

  • To be considered non-intoxicating, a hemp-derived cannabinoid product must contain no more than 2.5mg of an adult-use cannabinoid per serving and have a 25 to 1 non-intoxicating cannabinoids to adult-use cannabinoid ratio. Under the prior regulation, a product with any amount of THC could have been considered adult-use.
  • The 21-or-older age restriction now applies to only adult-use cannabinoid products.
  • The prohibition against adding caffeine to an hemp-derived cannabinoid product is removed.
  • In addition to CBD, other non-intoxicating cannabinoids may be added to an ingestible product that is sold at a food service establishment.
  • A hemp processing or manufacturing facility may employ a person who is 18, but younger than 21, if the person is supervised by someone who is 21 or older.
  • Special packaging and adult-signature requirements for adult-use products are removed.
  • Warning statements that would be unique to Kentucky are still required; however, manufacturers may use a QR code or URL link to direct to the warning statements.

Despite these much-needed improvements, there are still areas of concern:

  • The 25 to 1 ratio is not ideal – we would prefer something lower.
  • Although caffeine was removed, alcohol was added to the list of prohibited substances.
  • Our recommendation that products intended for sale exclusively out of state be excluded from the processing, manufacturing, storage, and distribution requirements was not adopted.
  • All cannabinoid products must included the common cannabinoid description in the product name, such as “delta-8 THC gummies” or “full-spectrum CBD extract.”

There will soon be another opportunity to submit comments to KDPH for further improving the regulation. Please review the amended regulations, and let us know your thoughts by next Friday, November 3rd.

Check out these previous updates on Kentucky Delta-8 Regulations

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