Yo, what’s good? It’s your boy Dan and today we’re talking about medical cannabis in Kentucky. So, when can we expect to see this herb hit the shelves? The answer is January 1, 2025. Senate Bill 47 put the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services in charge of setting up regulations for the program. They gotta finalize all the policies and regulations by July 1, 2024, according to the bill text. Karen O’Keefe, the director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project said: “Kentuckians who are suffering will finally be able to have access to safe, legal medical cannabis. We applaud the Kentucky legislature for recognizing the value of medical cannabis and passing legislation that will help provide relief and meet the needs of patients with serious medical conditions throughout the state, and are also grateful for the governor’s championing of this compassionate issue.”
Now let’s talk about what type of products patients can expect to see. Medical marijuana patients in Kentucky can get access to edibles, oils, tinctures, capsules, and other products except “raw” cannabis flower that’s meant for smoking. But don’t worry – you can still get flower to vaporize. Pre-rolls are not allowed though. There are also some potency limits – flower cannot have more than 35% THC, concentrates and topicals cannot have more than 70% THC and edibles cannot contain more than 10 milligrams of THC per serving. Some folks might find the potency limits on extracts problematic.
Matthew Bratcher, Executive Director of Kentucky NORML said: “Today is an incredible victory for Kentucky…While there is still work to be done, this is a historic step and we look forward to continuing our work representing Kentucky patients.”
So how much cannabis can patients possess? Kentucky allows medical marijuana patients to have up to a thirty-day supply of marijuana at home and up to ten days’ worth of marijuana on their person. The quantity that constitutes a thirty-or-ten day supply will be determined by officials. Unfortunately, there’s no provision for home growing.
Are patients going to get taxed on their medical cannabis? No sir. Patients won’t pay state or excise taxes on marijuana but dispensaries and producers will be taxed by the state.
Who qualifies for medical cannabis in Kentucky? Senate Bill 47 has a list of current qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. They include: any type or form of cancer regardless of the stage, chronic, severe, intractable or debilitating pain, epilepsy or any other intractable seizure disorder, multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms or spasticity, chronic nausea, or cyclical vomiting syndrome that has proven resistant to other conventional medical treatments, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The Kentucky Center for Cannabis – a newly-formed state office – can add more qualifying conditions to the list. Certification is only valid for 60 days at a time and patients must have their initial visit in person.
Now let’s talk about some important information that potential businesses and patients should know. Kentucky doesn’t allow marijuana businesses to advertise. A local government can decide to opt out of allowing dispensaries but residents can vote to opt back in. The State Board of Physicians and State Board of Nursing will certify practitioners to legally certify patients.
So there you have it – everything you need to know about medical cannabis in Kentucky. Stay safe, stay green!