FRANKFORT – (TNS) The Kentucky House will get a bill requiring the state regulation of Delta-8 THC, a mildly intoxicating substance drawn from the cannabis sativa plant.
House Bill 544, approved unanimously by a House committee on Thursday, gives the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services until Aug. 1 to write administrative regulations for the production and sale of Delta-8 products in the state.
The bill would set certain guidelines for the regulations, such as prohibiting sale of Delta-8 products to anyone younger than 21; requiring the products to be kept behind the counter at retailers; establishing lab testing for the products, to check for harmful contaminants; and requiring that product labels clearly disclose the ingredients.
Hemp industry supporters, who see a growing market for Delta-8 products, told the House Health Services Committee they would welcome state oversight.
Katie Moyer of the Kentucky Hemp Association described the “Wild West situation” that Delta-8 consumers currently face in the state, with products sold at gas stations, health food stores and other retail outlets, the ingredients “coming from who knows where.”
“We are all in support of regulations,” testified John Taylor, founder and chief executive officer of Commonwealth Extracts in Louisville.
“It gets rid of the bad actors who make it hard to compete,” Taylor said. “It costs a lot of money to do the right thing, and when we have people making things in the bathrooms and basements and barns, it really makes it hard for us to compete on a legitimate level.”
The bill is sponsored by state Rep. Rebecca Raymer, R-Morgantown.
Last year, the Senate voted 23-to-13 to pass a bill banning the production of intoxicating hemp-derived products, including Delta-8 THC, but that bill died in the House.
The Kentucky Hemp Association had been battling Kentucky State Police in court over raids of shops selling hemp products as part of a crackdown on Delta-8. Hemp growers were on one side of the debate over Delta-8, with state police and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture on the other.
In August, a Boone Circuit Court judge issued a permanent injunction against charging retailers and producers with criminal activity related to Delta-8.
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