The Kentucky medical cannabis reforms implemented via an executive order by Gov. Andy Beshear (D) took effect January 1, allowing individuals with a medical provider’s statement to possess up to eight ounces of cannabis for medical purposes if purchased legally in another state, Kentucky Health News reports.
Kentucky borders three states with medical cannabis programs – Illinois, Ohio, and West Virginia – but neither Ohio nor West Virginia allow medical cannabis access to non-residents. During his end-of-the-year press conference, Beshear admitted the executive order wasn’t “going to make it convenient for anyone.”
“What it will ensure is that they’re not a criminal. … I don’t want them to have to drive to Illinois, but that takes an act of the legislature. I want our people to be able to get it close to home.” – Beshear via Kentucky Health News
The state Senate has twice refused to act on medical cannabis bills passed by the House, which prompted the governor to issue the executive order. The state’s upcoming legislative session is just 30 days, giving lawmakers a smaller window to pass legislation.
Under the plan, law enforcement officers in the state will be given a card instructing them how to handle cases in which they find eight ounces or less of cannabis possessed by someone allowed to possess it under the order.
The 21 qualifying conditions include cancer, HIV or AIDS, multiple scleroisis, muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, intractable seizures, intractable pain, severe and chronic pain, severe arthritis, neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, sickle-cell anemia, post-traumatic stress disorder, hepatitis C, cachexia (wasting syndrome), Huntington’s disease, amytrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) or other terminal illnesses.
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