Kentucky Legalizes Medical Cannabis – Flavor Fix

Kentucky became the 38th state to legalize medical cannabis when Governor Andy Beshear signed Senate Bill 47 on March 31.

Under SB 47, which goes into effect beginning Jan. 1, 2025, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) will oversee cultivators, dispensaries, processors, and more as part of the state’s medical cannabis program. The program will include a cannabis business license application process and requirements.

The legislation also allows doctors to recommend medical cannabis to patients, and CHFS will be responsible for issuing identification cards to both patients and caregivers.

SB 47 was signed into law two weeks after the state Senate approved the legislation March 16, and four months after Gov. Beshear issued an executive order providing medical cannabis access for Kentuckians who suffer from a qualifying medical condition.

“In November, I signed an executive order to help Kentuckians with certain medical conditions, like our veterans suffering from PTSD, find safe and effective relief through medical cannabis,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in a news release. “Now, I am finally able to sign this legislation into law and fully legalize medical cannabis – something the majority of Kentuckians support.”

Patients with one of six medical conditions are eligible for medical cannabis under SB 47. Those conditions are any form or type of cancer; multiple sclerosis (MS), muscle spasms, or spasticity; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); epilepsy or any intractable seizure disorder; chronic nausea or cyclical vomiting; chronic, severe, intractable or debilitating pain; or any conditions approved by the Kentucky Center for Cannabis, which is established under SB 47.

Sen. Stephen West, the bill’s sponsor, also expressed gratitude after Gov. Beshear signed SB 47 into law.

“I am very happy to be here with friends to celebrate this special day. The signing of SB 47 comes after about five years of hard-fought legislative efforts,” Sen. West said. “This bill is how the legislative process should work. Senate Bill 47 is probably one of the most vetted bills in the history of the General Assembly, going through numerous committees being worked and reworked numerous times. I am proud to be a part of that effort.”

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