Updated on November 22, 2021. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Medical marijuana is not yet legalized in Kentucky. In April 2020, the Kentucky House of Representatives approved legislation of medical cannabis. But in 2021, the progress slowed down.
A Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) from 2020 by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky showed great support. More than 90% of Kentuckians in the survey stated they want to see medical cannabis legalized for patients.
In April 2021, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture announced that Delta-8 THC products were illegal in the state. And instituted any type of THC product, whether it was hemp or cannabis-derived.
In Kentucky, any hemp product that has a THC concentration “in excess of zero and three-tenths (0.30 percent) is illegal. Purchase, sale, and use of any THC product hold the same legal penalties.
The Kentucky Hemp Association is one industry and advocacy group that is fighting the ban against Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC products in Kentucky.
Right now, there is no medical cannabis program in Kentucky. And the qualifying health conditions to get a Kentucky medical card have not been outlined.
However, if Kentucky follows the example of other states with medical cannabis programs, the health conditions may include:
All states require a medical health evaluation. That is a health check with a qualified practitioner to make sure that medical cannabis is a safe treatment option for you. Registration with the state medical cannabis program will also be required after legalization. And this includes registration and payment of annual renewal fees. Many polls in Kentucky suggest that voters are very supportive of legal medical marijuana. However, the Kentucky House of Representatives and Senate are not.
No medical cannabis is available in Kentucky right now. Hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) is legal for therapeutic use. As long as the CBD has less than 0.30% THC content. While many states have made CBD legal for retail purchase, in Kentucky, patients must be prescribed cannabidiol by a practitioner. The use of cannabis is strictly prohibited in Kentucky. And there are currently no laws permitting the sale or distribution of CBD. Even if it is 0.30% or less THC by volume.
It is not known what the minimum legal age will be for Kentucky patients. However, other states require the age of eighteen (18) or older to access legal, medical cannabis.
The registration process has not been outlined yet. Medical marijuana is not legal yet in Kentucky. States can adopt an electronic or manual paper application process.
It is unknown if Kentucky will permit access for minors. Children under the age of eighteen (18) years in other states can be registered. Provided the minor also designated a legal guardian or caregiver.
This information is not available at this time. It is not certain whether Kentucky will have a caregiver program. Or what the requirements to be a caregiver will be, if implemented.
Most states require a one-year renewal. The medical card will typically expire in twelve months after it is issued. Some states can offer a medical card that is valid for two years, however.
All states provide a method for replacing a lost, stolen, or damaged card. And for updating changes to any contact information, such as residential address. There is usually a fee for replacing a medical card.
There are not any licensed dispensaries or compassion centers operating in Kentucky right now.
It is not legal. As of Fall, 2021, there have been some positive steps by the Kentucky legislature to move forward in 2022 with the legalization of medical cannabis.
While patients in surrounding states like Illinois and Ohio can access legalized medical cannabis, Kentucky currently has no program. The progress of legalization and decriminalization in the state has been slow.
1914—Kentucky is praised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for being an important source of raw hemp. The FDA claims that almost all American hemp plant seeds originated from Kentucky.
Source Web 2021: archive.org
April, 2014—Then-Governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear approved legislation that would make cannabidiol (CBD) legal for patients. However, clinical-grade CBD was only available through clinical trials at the University of Kentucky. No licenses were issued to cultivate, process or sell CBD in KY however.
Source Web 2021: legiscan.com/KY
January, 2015—Senate Bill 40 would have established the medical cannabis program in Kentucky. However, two groups stood against the legislation; the National Marijuana Initiative and the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Senate Bill 40 only progressed 25% of the way before it died in the Senate.
Source Web 2021: legiscan.com
March, 2019—House Bill 136, called “An Act Relating to Medicinal Marijuana and Making an Appropriation Therefor,” was filed to the Committee Substitute. It would have amended KRS Chapter 2018A to decriminalize cannabis possession in Kentucky.
Source Web 2021: apps.legislature.ky.gov
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