Kentucky Lawmakers Approve Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill

James Eaton

A Kentucky Senate legislative committee on Tuesday voted to approve a monthly bill to legalize medical marijuana in the state. The measure, Senate Monthly bill 47, was handed by the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee by a vote of 8-3, advancing the laws to the comprehensive Senate for thing to consider.

If passed, the laws would let sufferers with particular qualifying medical ailments which include cancer, serious agony, epilepsy and put up-traumatic stress disorder to acquire a doctor’s recommendation to use hashish medicinally. The monthly bill does not let clients to smoke cannabis, even though it does allow for for the sale of unprocessed cannabis flower for vaporization. Other cannabis formulations such as capsules, tinctures and topical goods are also approved by the bill.

SB 47 duties the Kentucky Cabinet for Wellbeing and Loved ones Products and services with drafting and utilizing polices to enact the laws and regulate the generation and sale of healthcare marijuana in the state. Beneath the invoice, Kentucky’s professional medical hashish method would start by January 2025.

Earlier Clinical Cannabis Expenditures Handed By Kentucky Residence

The Kentucky Dwelling of Reps has handed laws to legalize health-related marijuana 2 times because 2020, but the condition Senate has failed to approve the proposals. At Tuesday’s listening to, Republican Sen. Stephen West, a single of the bill’s far more than a dozen sponsors, claimed it is time for the legislature to locate a consensus on the difficulty.

“A constituent approached me several decades back with a particular tale regarding medicinal marijuana, piquing my curiosity and beginning the approach of crafting this piece of legislation,” West told his colleagues on the committee. “I am a proponent of this problem, not for personal factors, but because through substantial study, I genuinely come to feel that clinical hashish is inherently safe and sound. On this difficulty, I feel Kentuckians are entitled to as numerous harmless possibilities for their professional medical treatment and remedy as probable.”

Senate Vast majority Flooring Chief Damon Thayer was a single of 8 senators on the committee who voted in favor of advancing SB 47. Formerly an outspoken opponent of legalizing professional medical marijuana in Kentucky, Thayer not too long ago recommended that his placement on the problem is evolving just after hearing testimonies from constituents. He informed his colleagues on the committee that he voted “for the sake of people who put up with.”

“It’s not very often I adjust my mind,” Thayer claimed after the committee voted to advance the bill. “I did on industrial hemp and I did today on medical cannabis. I’m just attempting to be a little extra empathetic in my outdated age.”

While Thayer indicated that SB 47 would get its needed readings on the Senate ground this week, with the 1st reading taking place on Tuesday afternoon and the next slated for Wednesday. But he extra that approval of the measure by the whole House is “not a slam dunk,” adding, “I’m not guaranteed we have the votes on the flooring to go the bill.”

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has been an outspoken supporter of legalizing health care marijuana, and an advisory panel on the problem he shaped very last yr described powerful general public assist for legalization. In January, the governor renewed his call for condition lawmakers to send out him a health-related cannabis legalization invoice.

SB 47 is 1 of several hashish plan reform payments previously introduced by lawmakers this yr. Currently in 2023, lawmakers in typically conservative states these kinds of as Texas, North Carolina and Iowa have released laws to reform hashish plan.

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