As long as federal legalization remains elusive, we will continue to have the same issues in deciphering state laws regarding CBD. At present, we have an unusual situation where marijuana legality is more clear-cut! Over two-thirds of states now have a medical marijuana program. Approximately one-third of states allow or are set to allow adult-use cannabis.
Unlike cannabis, industrial hemp is legal to grow in the United States. Like THC, however, CBD isn’t federally legal. States ultimately have the power over cannabidiol’s accessibility or lack thereof. Despite obscure county and local laws that suggest otherwise, most states allow CBD sale and consumption.
Today, we look at whether CBD oil in Kentucky is legal and if it is widely available. First, however, let’s see what the Bluegrass State has to say about cannabis.
What Are the Marijuana Laws in Kentucky?
At present, Kentucky is one of the ever-decreasing states that doesn’t have an MMJ program. However, the state has a reputation for hemp growing, and the crop was first cultivated in Kentucky in 1775.
Although no reports said when cannabis became popular in the state, a Louisville Times article from 1930 outlined the drug’s widespread use. Of course, marijuana became illegal in Kentucky seven years later with the passing of the Marihuana Tax Act.
A pair of bills that proposed MMJ legalization didn’t make it out of committee in 2015.
The sale, cultivation, and use of the plant have remained prohibited ever since. In the last few years, lawmakers have introduced MMJ bills to the House and Senate. A pair of bills that proposed MMJ legalization didn’t make it out of committee in 2015.
In February 2020, House Bill 136 passed with a large majority. It was the first time that a medical marijuana bill has ever made it this far in Kentucky. Yet, it took over a year for any further action to take place. In April 2021, two bills to legalize medical cannabis were introduced to the Senate and House. However, neither one was assigned to a committee. As a consequence, there were no hearings or public testimony.
It is unclear what the next step is, but likely, MMJ will not come to Kentucky for the foreseeable future. This is contrary to public opinion in the state. A poll from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky in February 2020 found that 90% of Kentucky residents favored MMJ. It seems as if there is a pocket of anti-cannabis senators preventing medical cannabis in Kentucky.
Cannabis Penalties in Kentucky
The failure to pass any marijuana legislation means that the use of the substance is completely outlawed. Kentucky has also failed to pass any decriminalization bills. As a result, the possession of any amount is classified as a misdemeanor. You could face up to 45 days in prison and have the conviction on your criminal record.
The sale of any amount of marijuana in Kentucky is also a misdemeanor. However, it carries a potential prison sentence of up to a year. Growing up to five plants carries the same penalty. Selling more than eight ounces or cultivating six or more plants are felonies. In both instances, you could spend up to five years in jail.
Is CBD Oil Permitted in Kentucky?
Like many states, there isn’t any specific law that permits the use of CBD oil in Kentucky. However, Kentucky has followed the lead of most places in the United States by tolerating its usage.
The 2014 Farm Bill technically legalized the growth of hemp under certain restrictions. In that year, Governor Steve Beshear signed SB 124 into law. It allowed eligible patients to use hemp-derived CBD products as long as they had a doctor’s recommendation.
In 2017, HB 333 was passed and broadly permitted the sale and use of hemp-derived CBD with a maximum THC content of 0.3%. The following year, lawmakers in the state approved HB 197. This aligned Kentucky’s definition of industrial hemp with the federal governments.
Therefore, CBD oil is completely legal in Kentucky as long as it comes from hemp. It must also contain no more than 0.3% THC by dry weight. There are no limits on the amount of hemp-derived CBD you can buy in Kentucky. Furthermore, the state doesn’t have any laws regarding CBD in food or beverages.
However, please note that CBD derived from cannabis remains illegal in Kentucky, even for medical patients. Those who use this form of CBD will be treated as if they have used THC-rich marijuana.
Industrial Hemp in Kentucky
Kentucky was the biggest producer of hemp in the United States throughout the 1800s and 1900s. It has the ideal climate for cultivating the crop. Hemp that comes from Kentucky is widely regarded as the best in the country.
The state was among the first to consider permitting hemp cultivation in the modern era. Governor Brereton Jones created a commission designed to look into the possibility of legal hemp in 1994. However, the state didn’t allow production for research purposes until the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013.
One positive from the consumer’s perspective is that Kentucky has strict laws surrounding the growth of hemp.
Kentucky was one of the few states that were growing hemp in 2016. The market quickly grew but 2019 was a difficult year for farmers. The state cultivated over 26,000 acres that year, but many farmers were unable to sell their produce. While almost 1,000 farmers received licenses in 2020, approximately 150 said they did not plan to grow the crop.
One positive from the consumer’s perspective is that Kentucky has strict laws surrounding the growth of hemp. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) oversees the hemp program. Those who apply for a license must not have any felony convictions going back ten years. They must also have no drug-related misdemeanors across the same period.
All crops are tested for THC. Growers and processors must save their lab results for a minimum of three years. The KDA and law enforcement have the option of asking for these tests.
Where to Buy CBD Oil in Kentucky
There is a huge array of vendors that sell CBD oil in Kentucky. There are CBD-specific stores, not to mention large chains such as Walgreens and Whole Foods offering it. Take a trip throughout the state, and you will surely find dozens of gas stations selling the cannabinoid.
However, you shouldn’t purchase any CBD product unless there is a third-party lab report with it. Otherwise, you have no way of knowing if the product contains less than 0.3% THC. There is also a possibility of it containing heavy metals or other chemicals. Your best bet is to try an online store. Reputable CBD brands have test results on their website, and they can deliver their products to your doorstep.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil in Kentucky
At present, the Bluegrass State doesn’t allow cannabis. Attempts to develop a medical marijuana program have stalled, and there is no way of knowing when they will resume. The possession of any amount of cannabis is a misdemeanor in Kentucky with possible jail time.
CBD, on the other hand, is available in Kentucky. However, it must come from hemp and contain a maximum of 0.3% THC. The state grows some of the best hemp in the United States. Many top brands such as PureKana and Premium Jane get their CBD from Kentucky-grown hemp.
- Full-spectrum Hemp extract
- No pesticides, solvents or chemical fertilizers
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Price Range ($48.00 – $390.00)
- Full-Spectrum Extract (Made in USA)
- 100% Natural and Organic
- Contain no artificial flavors or preservatives
- Prices range ($48-$125)
- High-grade CBD formula
- All products are lab tested
- Made from organically grown hemp
- Price Range ($39-$139)
- CBDPure uses a chemical-free CO2 extraction process
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Certified hemp grown in Colorado
- Price Range ($29.99 – $79.99)
- Huge selection of CBD products
- Implement natural hemp practices
- Lab tested potency and purity
- Price Range ($29 - $99)
- Free shipping on orders over $99
- Certificate of analysis for all products
- Seed-to-sale hemp-based CBD products
- Price Range ($19.99-$124.00)
- All CBD products follow Good Manufacturing Protocols
- Made from all-natural, non-GMO Colorado hemp
- Community-minded brand
- Local sourcing where possible
- Price Range ($29.99-$199.99)