Kentucky lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill to legalize medical cannabis in the state, moving the legislation to Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear (D), Spectrum News 1 reports. Beshear, on Twitter, said he plans to “proudly” sign the legislation today. The measure does not include smokable forms of cannabis but would allow patients enrolled in the program to access edible and concentrate products.
Last year Beshear signed an executive order to legalize the possession of cannabis by some individuals suffering from severe medical conditions. Those reforms took effect on 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.
State Rep. Jason Nemes (R), who sponsored a medical cannabis bill last year that did not get a vote in the Senate, told Spectrum News that medical cannabis products allowed under the law must be cultivated by licensed Kentucky growers, tested by licensed laboratories in the state, and that the legislation contains THC caps.
“This is not a wink, wink, nod, nod bill. We want those who are running, or in this program, to be held accountable when they misbehave. And if they misbehave, they need to go to prison, a Kentucky prison.” — Nemes to Spectrum News
On Twitter, Beshear noted that medical cannabis legalization is “something the majority of Kentuckians support” and said he was “thankful this progress has been made.”
The measure passed the Senate 66-33. Once signed into law by the governor, the bill will take effect Jan. 1, 2025.
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