Updated on January 30, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
As legislation changes in Kentucky, check back to this section for information about how those legislative changes will affect the prospect of medical marijuana in Kentucky.
On January 3, 2017, Senate Bill SB57 sponsored by Senators D. Harper Angel, S. West and Perry Clark was introduced to the Senate. The bill proposes the establishment of a Cannabis Compassion Act that will legalize the use of medical marijuana. It will establish a system to verify the need for a patient to use cannabis and set the regulations for cultivation, use and possession of the drug. This act will also state the organizations that will assist in the provision of the drug while proposing the establishment of a department that will oversee the implementation of the act.
This bill is expected to be passed by the state Senate during the 2017 session and should be signed into law by the governor. The governor had shown support for the legalization of medical marijuana even while he was campaigning to become the governor of Kentucky. So, it’s unlikely he’ll fail to follow through.
Similarly, on January 3, 2017, Sen. Perry Clark introduced Senate bill SB76, which is supposed to provide regulations for testing, cultivating, processing, selling and taxing cannabis for people who are 21 years or older. When passed into law, this legislation will repeal other sections of the state law that currently prohibits the possession, cultivation and sale of cannabis for recreational use.
In June 2017, Senator Morgan McGarvey proposed a bill to make medical marijuana legal for palliative or end of life care. The bill defined circumstances under which medical marijuana could be prescribed as “medically necessary.”
Possession of marijuana is still a criminal offense in Kentucky. A person who has eight ounces or less has committed a misdemeanor (Class B), and the crime is punishable by 45 days in jail and a fine of $250 or lower. Possession of more than eight ounces of marijuana is taken as evidence that the person intends to sell or distribute it.
Sale or trafficking of marijuana that is less than eight ounces is punishable by a 12-month prison term and a total fine of $500. A subsequent offense will attract a jail term of one to five years and a fine that does not exceed $10,000. Trafficking of five pounds of cannabis attracts a sentence of five to ten years and a maximum fine of $10,000 for first-time offenders.
Cultivation of marijuana is also prohibited in Kansas. Growing five plants or fewer is punishable by a 12-month jail term and a fine that does not exceed $500. Subsequent offenders will serve a jail term of between one to five years with a fine of up to $10,000.
Nevertheless, the state Department of Agriculture has accepted applications from people who are interested in the 2017 pilot program for hemp growing. In 2016, the state said that about 4,500 acres of land should be cultivated with industrial hemp, but just 2,350 were planted.
In Kentucky, telemedicine or Telehealth is defined as the use of interactive video, audio and any other electronic medium to provide healthcare services. It includes using electronic media to carry out consultation, diagnosis, treatment and the transfer of medical data.
Kentucky has a relatively liberal telemedicine policy, with very few restrictions on its use by healthcare providers. Providers can now deliver personal medical nutritional services, mental health diagnosis interviews, group or individual psychotherapy and standard consultations.
All licensed physicians, psychiatrists and physical therapists can practice telemedicine. The provider may also submit a prescription online assuming there is a provider-patient relationship. This relationship may be established through telemedicine. The patient must, however, provide written consent before engaging in telemedicine.
Read Kentucky’s Full Medical Marijuana Laws to gain full specific knowledge of Kentucky’s exact legal guidelines without interpretation.
Find out what you need to know about registration for the Kentucky medical marijuana ID card. We’ll help you move smoothly from one stage of the registration process to another without a hitch. We offer expert assistance to patients who want to register for their marijuana ID card.
We’re committed to providing up-to-date, accurate and detailed facts about medical marijuana in Kentucky. You can view our fact sheet that contains a list of vital information that’ll help you know the truth and separate it from the myths about marijuana.