Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) on Tuesday signed a bill to authorize cannabis research at the University of Kentucky (UK), the Associated Press reports. Beshear used his line-item veto authority to broaden the center’s work and allow more leeway in the selection of the center’s oversight board.
The legislation to create the research center was approved by lawmakers on the final day of the state’s legislative session and Beshear’s line-item vetoes will stand since the Legislature will not reconvene until January 2023 for its next regular session.
Beshear said last week that he is seeking options to legalize medical cannabis in the state via executive action after lawmakers failed to approve the reforms during the session. The state House passed a medical cannabis bill but Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer (R) never brought the bill for a vote in the upper chamber, claiming there were “not enough votes” to pass the reforms.
The bill signed by Beshear on Tuesday gives UK’s president the power to appoint members of the advisory board overseeing the research center’s work and finances. In the line-item vetoes, the governor struck language that listed UK officials to be considered for board membership, along with medical specialists.
“I am vetoing these parts because they limit the purpose of the center and dictate who the president of the University of Kentucky should consider appointing to the advisory board after giving the president of the university sole appointing power,” Beshear said in his veto message, adding that his other line-item vetoes on the center’s access to funding were required “because ongoing appropriations may be necessary.”
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