KENTUCKY (WEHT) — A judge in Kentucky has declared Delta-8 to be a legal derivative of hemp, and issued a permanent injunction against law enforcement which prevents them from charging retailers and producers with criminal activity for selling Delta-8.

The chemical, called Delta-8 THC, is billed as producing a milder high than the better known Delta-9 THC. Delta-8 is often marketed as being legal even where marijuana is not.

The Kentucky Hemp Association says this decision came after a lengthy legal argument with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Kentucky State Police.

KYHA President Katie Moyer, in an open letter to Kentucky Hemp Association members, stated that “this is a huge win for farmers and retailers of hemp derivatives in the Commonwealth.”

In April of last year, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture sent a letter to hemp producers and law enforcement declaring Delta-8 THC an illegal “synthetic” drug. By June, the Kentucky State Police began raiding retail stores using the letter as justification.

According to the KYHA, they argued that Delta-8 was federally legal as a derivative of hemp, but the industry group was forced to take that claim to court to prove their case. The association says they are pleased to put the issue behind them and move forward.