Kentucky Cannabis Law

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A Guide to Kentucky Cannabis Law

Is CBD legal in Kentucky? (2022 CBD LAWS)

  • Kentucky is home to the longest recorded cave system in the world, the Kentucky Derby, and some mighty fine bourbon. Oh, and legal CBD.
  • CBD is legal in Kentucky. It must be hemp-derived CBD with no more than 0.3% THC. Smokable CBD isn’t permitted, so can’t be in flower form.
  • Hemp agriculture is making a major comeback in Kentucky, which was once one of the largest hemp producing states in the Union. The Kentucky Hemp State Plan issues licenses for growers. Hemp production without a license is illegal.
  • A medical cannabis bill was approved by the Kentucky House of Representatives in 2020. Unfortunately, it was put on hold before reaching the Senate due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of early 2021, Kentucky is still in a game of “wait and see” for medical cannabis.
  • There are criminal charges for any marijuana use in Kentucky.
  • The Bluegrass State recognizes it has hemp in its agricultural heritage. They were eager to legalize industrial hemp cultivation, and swift to align state law with the 2018 Farm Bill, legalizing compliant CBD. That is, CBD made from hemp with up to 0.3% THC.
  • Kentucky even urged Congress to reclassify hemp and remove it from the list of federal controlled substances ahead of the 2018 Farm Bill.
  • But, they remain firm on prohibiting recreational cannabis. Medical cannabis may be a different story, but progress on passing legislation stalled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Overall, Kentucky seems keen to honor their roots and bring hemp back into their local economy.

Kentucky CBD Laws At A Glance

  • You can legally buy and use hemp-derived CBD with up to 0.3% THC.
  • Smokable CBD is illegal.You need a license to produce industrial hemp.
  • You also need a license to sell CBD products.
  • Kentucky does not have an active medical cannabis program.
  • Adult-use marijuana is illegal in Kentucky.

Let’s look at some of the key KY cannabis laws.

  • In 2014, the federal government passed a Farm Bill with regulation for states to launch industrial hemp pilot programs. Kentucky jumped on board, and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture launched their industrial hemp pilot program in the same year.
  • Kentucky also passed Senate Bill 124 in 2014, which legalized medicinal CBD with no THC. Patients had to have a recommendation from a doctor at state research hospitals.
  • Hemp-derived CBD with 0.3% THC or less was legalized in 2017 through House Bill 333. It removes hemp-derived CBD from the state’s list of controlled substances, legalizing it for sale and use. And, it makes Senate Bill 124 unnecessary now that CBD is available to everyone including patients.
  • The governor House Concurrent Resolution 35 in 2018, urging Congress to remove hemp from the definition of marijuana in their list of controlled substances.

How To Buy CBD Legally?

  • Purchase CBD At Brick & Mortar Stores
  • CBD’s legal in your neck of the woods. (Yay Kentucky!) This means you can explore the offerings at a number of local venues. Dispensaries are an obvious choice. But many pharmacies, health food stores, spas, farmers’ markets, etc. sell CBD-infused products, too.
  • Before CBD shopping in person, research or ask around to hone in on the retailers with the best products, selection, and service.
  • Buy CBD Online
  • Some people like to buy their CBD IRL. Others prefer the convenience of online shopping. Lucky you — in Kentucky, you can take your pick! And even if you enjoy the experience of physically going into a shop and selecting your CBD products, it’s great to have options.
  • You can safely buy high-quality CBD products online from Pure Craft. Just FYI — people in your area are clamoring for the following CBD products:

HEMP and the Law

  • Even though the 2018 Farm Bill removes hemp from the controlled substance list, no person can grow, handle (possess), or process hemp plants, viable seed, leaf or floral materials without a hemp license issued by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
  • As stated in KRS 260.858(3), “It is unlawful for a person who does not hold a license issued by the department, or who is not an agent of a licensee, to cultivate, handle, process, or market living hemp plants or viable seeds, leaf materials, or floral materials derived from hemp. Penalties for persons who cultivate, handle, process, or market living hemp plants or viable seeds, leaf materials, or floral materials derived from industrial hemp without a license are the same as those penalties that are applicable to persons who violate KRS Chapter 218A, relating to marijuana.”
  • Hemp derived CBD products are legal in Kentucky pursuant to 40 KRS 218A.010(28) (Scroll down to number 28). Additionally, KRS 217.039, “Ingestible or cosmetic cannabidiol products-Manufacturer or processor to be permitted-Labeling and certificate of analysis requirements.” must be followed. The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services regulates finished cannabinoid products. Those regulations can be found in 902 KAR 45:190.
  • License Holders investing at this early stage in the industry should be aware that federal law is subject to change. There is uncertainty at the federal level on what parts of the hemp plant can be lawfully sold.

Kentucky: Medical Cannabis Access Legislation Advances to the Senate

  • The bill provides for the production and distribution of a limited variety of medical cannabis products to qualified patients, including those with PTSD, cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy or any other intractable seizure disorder; multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, or spasticity; and nausea or vomiting.
  • The Nemes bill includes provisions such as a ban on discrimination against cannabis patients in areas such as child custody matters and organ transplants. Students who use medical marijuana would be permitted to consume it on campus under the administration of a school nurse.
  • Patients would be able to have a 10-day supply of marijuana products outside the home and up to a 30-day supply secured at their residence. Those amounts are still poorly defined, however, as the bill leaves it to regulators to determine what constitutes a day’s worth of cannabis.


  • The bill would also forbid employers or professional organizations from discriminating against people who use cannabis off the job provided it does not affect their work performance or compromise safety. Smoking marijuana in public would remain illegal but be punishable by a maximum $100 fine.

Kentucky Marijuana Laws and Penalties

Kentucky Marijuana Laws and Penalties   
OffensePenaltyIncarcerationMax. Fine
Less than 8 ozMisdemeanor45 days$250
  Sale or Trafficking   
Less than 8 oz (first offense)Misdemeanor1 year$500
Less than 8 oz (subsequent offense)Felony1 – 5 years$10,000
8 oz – 5 lbs (first offense)Felony1 – 5 years$10,000
8 oz – 5 lbs (subsequent offense)Felony5 – 10 years$10,000
5 lbs or more (first offense)Felony5 – 10 years$10,000
5 lbs or more (subsequent offense)Felony10 – 20 years$10,000
To a minor (first offense)Felony5 – 10 years$10,000
To a minor (subsequent offense)Felony10 – 20 years$10,000
Within 1000 yards of a school or parkFelony1 – 5 years$10,000
Less than 5 plants (first offense)Misdemeanor1 year$500
Less than 5 plants (subsequent offense)Felony1 – 5 years$ 10,000
5 plants or more (first offense)Felony1 – 5 years$ 10,000
5 plants or more (subsequent offense)Felony5 – 10 years$ 10,000
  Hash & Concentrates   
Penalties for hashish are the same as for marijuana.   
Possession of paraphernaliaMisdemeanor1 year$ 500

Kentucky Cannabis Advertising Law

  • Currently no advertising regulations in place.
  • All products would need to carry an advisory label and include basic details including ingredients and additives, net weight, an expiration or use-by date and “labeling that differentiates between medical cannabis products and adult use cannabis products.” Further, all packaging would need to be opaque.

Cannabis Tax Law

  • Products would be subject to a 12 percent excise tax and taxes on gross receipts, with revenues split between state and local governments. Of all state revenue, 13.75 percent would go to local law enforcement to help enforce the new law.
  • Sales of adult-use cannabis would be taxed at six percent at the state level, with municipalities able to add fees of up to five percent combined between local jurisdictions. Overall, sales would be taxed at no more than 11 percent, which is lower than most other legal states.

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