GOP-Led Medical Marijuana Bill Approved By Kentucky Senate Committee, Next Stop: Floor Vote

A GOP-led measure to legalize medical cannabis in Kentucky advanced through a state Senate committee on Tuesday morning and is now heading to the floor, reported Marijuana Moment.

The Senate Licensing & Occupations Committee members approved Senate Bill 47 from Sen. Stephen West (R) in an 8-3 vote. Medical marijuana (MMJ) legislation advanced through the full House in the past but has stalled in the Senate previously.

“I’ve been working on this for a long time,” West said earlier. “It seems like every year, there’s positive movement forward. And so this is just the next step.”

Matthew Bratcher, executive director of Kentucky NORML said West and a dozen other senators have worked on the bill for a decade, reported WKYT.

“They’ve worked really hard the last 10 years,” Bratcher said. “I don’t think it’s just been hard ‘nos.’ They’ve been wondering how to get around it. They want to get it right.”

Bratcher called this “an opportunity for the Senate to really take control and own this issue.”

Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer (R) who expressed earlier opposition, said he’s aware the people of Kentucky support medical marijuana but he personally doesn’t, also seems to be more open for a debate.

For now, Kentuckians are allowed to legally possess up to eight ounces of MMJ if it’s purchased in another state, thanks to Governor Andy Beshear‘s executive order from last year.

What’s In SB 47

  • Those diagnosed with cancer, severe pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms or spasticity, chronic nausea or cyclical vomiting, and post-traumatic stress disorder, to name a few, could qualify to use medical cannabis.
  • Smoking marijuana products will be prohibited, as well as home growing.
  • The Cabinet for Health and Family Services would conduct oversight of the program.
  • The rollout for its program would take effect on Jan. 1, 2025, at the earliest.

Photo: Courtesy of Kindel Media by Pexels and Real Window Creative by Shutterstock

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