Proposed KY bill to ban Delta 8 THC, other cannabinoids, has the CBD community upset

"It would be detrimental to a lot of Kentuckians, to take away any cannabinoid that's helping them"

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) –Senate Bill 170 is an emergency measure introduced by Republican Senator Paul Hornback of Shelbyville that would prohibit the production of what it calls intoxicating products from hemp.

Those products include Delta 8 THC, a psychoactive cannabinoid that is extracted from hemp plants and contains a low amount of THC, low enough that it is legal on the federal level.

“It would be detrimental to a lot of Kentuckians, to take away any cannabinoid that’s helping them, that’s not a pharmaceutical, that’s not a bottle of alcohol, we need these to help our people” said Robert Matheny.

Robert Matheny owns the KY CBD Farmacy in Nicholasville. He says Delta 8 THC, along with other cannabinoid’s, help relieve pain, anxiety and other issues…that it’s the main use of the substance, not to get high.

And, he knows that first hand.

“Whenever I got a debilitating back injury like I said the high wasn’t there, it allowed me to function, just like a pain pill except it’s not addictive” said Matheny.

He says banning Delta 8 would leave many Kentuckians that use it for pain relief, to turn to the black market.

That it would also hurt the hemp farming industry.

“If you take Delta 8 and all these other cannabinoid’s away from these farmers to grow or to process…all it does is move that revenue right into another state” added Matheny.

But, for Senator Paul Hornback…Delta 8 is a public safety issue, specifically for the younger generation and people who may abuse it.

He claims the extraction process includes using pool cleaner and battery acid. He says that its toxicity should not be in the hands of kids.

“Regardless of what type of THC level it’s got, how high it can be, is it right to make that available to the youth there is it right for it not to have to be sold from behind the counter like all intoxicating materials are?” questioned Hornback.

Senator Hornback says he’s met with the State Hemp Board and has heard the push back from the community.
He says although he believes this bill is what the state needs, he is open to better solutions.

“It’s very extreme it outlaws it but if they have a better recommendation I’m open to that. If they want to put a 21 age limit on it, if they want it only sold behind the counter, if they want to do something else, I’m open to that” added Hornback.

The bill is in the senate agriculture committee, which Hornback chairs.

He says he’s not going to rush the bill, saying he expects it to be heard in about three weeks.

The Kentucky Hemp Association also providing a statement to ABC 36.

“Since Monday the Kentucky Hemp Association has been busy working toward a solution for Senate Bill 170 that will satisfy the Senate Ag Chairman without damaging our fledgling industry. We learned that this legislation was drafted by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, but we have yet to unravel the KDA’s preoccupation with Delta 8 and other minor cannabinoid’s. Our position has always been big picture; To provide safe and effective products for consumers and a source of income for Kentucky farmers.

Instead of a blanket prohibition on minor cannabinoid’s that help consumers and farmers of all ages, our intent is to replace the existing bill with one that requires purchases to be made by consumers 21 and older. This should satisfy the bill sponsor whose stated concerns were that teenagers may use these hemp products without adult supervision.

Although we will work to improve the bill, I think we were most surprised that the bill seems to be hastily-written with the potential for many unintended consequences, including Kentucky losing it’s position as a leader in the production of hemp nationwide.

Katie Moyer

Kentucky Hemp Works”

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