Nicolas Raymond

Kentucky Gov. Announces Medical Cannabis License Lottery

Kentucky will hold a lottery for the state’s initial medical cannabis business licenses in October, keeping the state on track for the medical cannabis program’s anticipated launch on January 1, 2025.

Full story after the jump.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced on Thursday that officials will hold a lottery in October for awarding the state’s initial medical cannabis business licenses, according to the Associated Press.

Beshear described the lottery system as the best option for fairly distributing medical cannabis licenses ahead of the market’s launch, arguing that it would prevent hopeful licensees with deep pockets from lobbying to “get a leg up” on the competition.

“It reduces or eliminates litigation, and it creates a more fair process, not one where people bid against each other and only then the big companies can be a part of it. But one that provides at least a chance for everyone who can meet the criteria.” — Beshear, in the report

With the recent lottery announcement, Kentucky is on track to meet its goal of having an operational medical cannabis program by January 1, 2025.

Additionally, state lawmakers passed legislation on Monday to allow local jurisdictions to opt out of the state’s medical cannabis program, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. Officials had also considered adding new qualifying conditions for the program but those expansions ultimately failed.

Kentucky passed its medical cannabis legalization bill in 2023; under the program, registered patients will be able to access cannabis edibles and concentrates but the program stops short of permitting smokable products.

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