Kentucky Lawmaker Files Cannabis Legalization Bill

A Kentucky state representative has introduced “House Bill 420,” a bill to legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis, protect consumer employment rights, offer expungement for certain convictions, and establish a tax-funded system to address prohibition impacts.

Full story after the jump.

Kentucky state Rep. Rachel Roberts (D) last week introduced an adult-use cannabis legalization bill to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, according to the Louisville Courier-Reporter.

House Bill 420, as it is aptly named, would legalize cannabis possession and use for adults aged 21+ and establish a regulated industry for the cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution of cannabis products. Additionally, employers in the state would be unable to fire or refuse to hire someone for legally consuming cannabis, and people with cannabis misdemeanor convictions would be able to get their records expunged.

Roberts’ bill, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Keturah Herron (D), would also establish a new board in the Public Protection Cabinet that would take charge of the cannabis licensing process. The industry be taxed with a 9% excise tax on all cannabis sales, including retail and wholesale purchases, for at least one year, then the board would be able to establish a new tax rate.

Cannabis industry taxes and licensing fees would go into a “cannabis fund” with the state Treasury that fund the implementation and administration of the industry. For any leftover funds, at least 30% would be spent on addressing the negative impacts of cannabis prohibition, including by creating job training and re-entry programs for communities “historically targeted by drug law enforcement,” the report said.

The legalization proposal comes as Kentucky is working to launch its medical cannabis program, which lawmakers passed last year.

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