The Kentucky Hemp Association (KHA) is taking legal action against the state Department of Agriculture after the state body prohibited the sale and consumption of delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products, reported Spectrum News 1. The lawsuit has been assigned to a Boone County judge and is awaiting
Reportedly, some stores that sell delta-8 products had been raided and had their products removed. According to Ginny Saville, owner of Botany Bay, “Some of them have been full of raids, like the police coming in and they’ll take off everybody there and put zip ties on their hands behind their back and take all the merchandise. Not just a little bit that’s in question, but everything.”
Saville had to dispose of her delta-8 products after learning about several raids that occurred in Kentucky. The reported raids followed after the Kentucky DA released a letter announcing that the distribution of the products is illegal.
Delta-8 THC is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant that has similar psychoactive effects as delta-9 THC, a main active cannabinoid alongside cannabidiol (CBD). This compound can be organically extracted from the plant or synthetically produced from delta-9.
Saville has since taken the products off her inventory. However, she supports the industry in its fight for the right to sell such items. She said, “If they want to make it illegal, they can file a bill in January. We have a process. I go through that process.”
In response to the KDA’s letter, the KHA filed an injunction imploring them to cease the raids and wait for court proceedings.
KHA Secretary Katie Moyer highlighted that delta-8 contains more than 100 different compounds that offer various benefits. Removing these items from the market will have negative impacts on the cannabis consumer community, as well as the marijuana industry itself.
Moyer explained, “We now have this chilling effect of other stores who are sacrificing potential income, stores are losing $4,000 to $5,000 a day or more on these products, and they’re just simply scared to sell them and that’s unfortunate, especially in a situation where the decision on whether or not this is legal has come down to a letter, as opposed to a specific law.”
The KHA is working with attorney Chris Wiest to attempt to make the products in question legal in KY, said WFPL. According to the report, one of the foundations of their assertions is that the KDA’s “interpretation excludes language added under the 2018 Hemp Act that legalized delta-8 products derived from hemp.”
It is important to note that the legality of this chemical compound remains unclear across the United States. In fact, the legality of CBD exists under a technicality. The legality of delta-8 could also rest on a similar technicality, that is if the substance is organically extracted from Cannabis sativa L, the scientific name of hemp.
However, the Implementation of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 which is another name for the 2018 Farm Bill noted that it “does not impact the control status of synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols,” which eliminates the argument for synthetically produced delta-8.