Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has signed a bill establishing a medical cannabis program in the state, making it the 38th to legalize medical cannabis.
The bill, introduced in Kentucky’s Senate on Jan. 5, allows for licensing of cannabis businesses, including cultivators, processors and dispensaries. It also creates a Board of Advisors made up of seven physicians and two advanced practice registered nurses.
Qualifying conditions include cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, chronic nausea and post-traumatic stress disorder. Additional conditions may be added if the Kentucky Center for Cannabis deems there is enough scientific evidence to demonstrate that cannabis provides medical, therapeutic or palliative benefits.
Patients will not be allowed to smoke cannabis, but vaporization is permitted. The legislation caps flower THC content at 35%, and edibles, oils and tinctures may not have more than 10 mg THC per serving. Other cannabis products cannot have a THC content of more than 70%.
Kentucky’s local governments can pass ordinances prohibiting cannabis business operations within its territory or submit the question to voters.
The law’s passage follows Beshear’s November executive order allowing Kentuckians with 21 medical conditions to purchase no more than 8 ounces of medical cannabis outside of the state.
“In November, I signed an executive order to help Kentuckians with certain medical conditions, like our veterans suffering from PTSD, find safe and effective relief through medical cannabis,” Beshear said in a March 31 statement. “Now, I am finally able to sign this legislation into law and fully legalize medical cannabis – something the majority of Kentuckians support.”
The law is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2025.