Restrictions on Sales and Transfers of Hemp
The growth, handling, processing, and marketing of hemp is administered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) as authorized by KRS 260.850-260.869, and 7 U.S.C.§ 5940. The restrictions on manufacture, sale, and transfer of hemp are located in state regulations 302 KAR 50:020 Policies and procedures for hemp growers, Sections 19 and 20, 302 KAR 50:030 Policies and procedures for hemp processors and handlers, Sections 13 and 14, and 302 KAR 50:070 Prohibited products. See below for further details on the prohibited products regulations. The full detail of the other regulations are found on the “Hemp and the Law” page.
At this time, state law is very clear that it is unlawful to sell viable seeds, leaf materials, or floral materials to the general public. In fact, it is unlawful for anyone without either a Grower License or a Processor/Handler License issued by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture for the Hemp Licensing Program, to possess hemp leaf or floral materials. See below for the pertinent state law (KRS 260.858) and Kentucky Administrative Regulation (302 KAR 50:070).
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 industrial hemp plants or viable seeds, leaf materials, or floral materials derived from industrial hemp. Penalties for persons who cultivate, handle, process, or market living industrial 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.”
Prohibited Products are found in 302 KAR 050.070. This administrative regulation establishes classes or categories of industrial hemp products that are prohibited for sale, transfer, or distribution to members of the public.
Section 1. Products Not to be Sold to Members of the Public.
(1) The following hemp-derived products shall not be manufactured:
(a) Hemp cigarettes;
(b) Hemp cigars;
(c) Chew, dip, or other smokeless material consisting of hemp leaf material or hemp floral material; and
(d) Hemp leaf material or floral material teas.
(2) The following hemp-derived products shall not be marketed, sold, or distributed to any person in Kentucky who does not hold a license from the department, or any person outside the Commonwealth (but within the United States) who is not authorized by an institution of higher education, or state department of agriculture pursuant to 7 U.S.C. 5940 and the laws of that state:
(a) Whole hemp buds;
(b) Ground hemp floral material;
(c) Ground hemp leaf material; and
(d) Any hemp product with a delta-9-THC concentration in excess of zero and three-tenths (0.3) percent.
(3) If the department finds that it is more likely than not that a person has manufactured, marketed, sold, or distributed a hemp-derived product in violation of this administrative regulation, the department shall assess a civil monetary penalty against that person of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 per violation, in addition to possible termination of the grower licensing agreement or processor or handler licensing agreement.