After a lengthy legal argument between the Kentucky Hemp Association (KYHA), the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA), and Kentucky State Police regarding the legal status of delta-8 THC in Kentucky, Boone Circuit Judge Rick Brueggemann has declared the substance to be a legal derivative of hemp.

KDA sent a letter to hemp license holders in April 2021, stating that delta-8 was prohibited under federal law, which led to law enforcement raiding retailers who sold the product, using the KDA’s letter as grounds. According to a press release, the raids led the KYHA to file a lawsuit against the KDA and Kentucky State Police, arguing that delta-8 is legal under state law and that the raids were unwarranted.

On Aug. 3, hemp license holders in the state got long-awaited clarity on the issue when “Boone Circuit Judge Rick Brueggemann declared delta-8 to be a legal derivative of hemp and issued a permanent injunction against law enforcement which prevents them from charging retailers and producers with criminal activity for selling delta-8,” the release states. 

According to the release, the injunction against the KDA was dismissed “due to a lack of standing, leaving hemp processors at risk of losing their hemp licenses.” 

Katie Moyer, president of the KYHA, sent a letter to members stating that Brueggemann’s ruling is a big win for hemp farmers and retailers in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, adding that banning such products would be a big step backward.

Tate Hall, vice president of KYHA, also released a statement on the issue.

“There are many important advancements that the KYHA has been working toward, including opening up hemp to animal feed markets, legalizing hemp tea and microgreens, and improving the market for everyone,” Hall said. “These delta-8 raids on retailers were an obstacle that distracted us from advancing hemp in other ways, but it was a challenge we were ready and willing to face in order to protect retailers of Kentucky Proud Hemp products.”



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