On Thursday, legislators of Kentucky submitted a new reform to decriminalize medical cannabis within the state. This comes after the governor called for the policy change during the Commonwealth-State address.
Representative Jason Nemes sponsored the legislation. He launched a medical marijuana reform that was approved by the House in 2020 but didn’t advance past the Senate.
Governor Andy Beshear asserted that it’s time to authorize medical marijuana and remove laws that restrict Kentucky from innovation and growth. He added that he also wants to legalize sports betting.
According to the recently launched bill, the Kentucky Department of Cannabis Control and Alcoholic Beverage would regulate the market.
The new bill will also exempt medical cannabis sales from the state excise duty. This provision has been the main subject of discussion between the governor’s office and lawmakers. Andy intends to tax marijuana to accrue revenue; however, some high-ranking lawmakers have objected that medicine shouldn’t carry any tax obligation.
There’re no specific conditions that patients have to meet to access medical cannabis. Medical marijuana will be permitted for all conditions as prescribed by a physician.
Patients would buy up to a month’s supply of marijuana. The regulatory department will state the amount.
Personal cultivation will still be prohibited according to the new legislation. There’re provisions detailing punishments for breaking the law, including driving under cannabis influence.
Proceeds from registration and licensing charges, as well as revenue accumulated from fines, will trickle down to a medical cannabis trust fund. The State Administration and Finance cabinet will administer these funds.
60% of the revenue will cover enforcement expenses, 2.5% for implementation costs and installing an incentive measure to foster marijuana research, 13.75% will entail will be used in the grant program for state law enforcement, 10 % will handle extra administrative expenses, and another 13.75% will be budgeted for dispensaries to assist in covering expenses for low-income patients.