Medical marijuana is currently legal in 24 states. And recreational use is legal in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Alaska, Michigan, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., and Michigan. Will Kentucky cannabis soon be added to the MMJ list?

New Year, New Bills

Lawmakers recently released a new medical marijuana bill – House Bill 136 – in the state of Kentucky – to be filed in the 2019 Regular Session. Behind the legislation are Rep. Diane St. Onge, R – Ft. Wright, and Rep. Jason Nemes, R- Louisville.

According to Rep. Nemes, “This bill is designed to help Kentuckians in pain when their doctors say medical marijuana will help them. It is time to allow doctors to have this option for patients.”

The Department of Public Protection’s Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control will oversee and regulate the medical marijuana program. Through the state, residents would apply for various licenses (e.g. cultivation, dispensary, processors, safety facilities, practitioners and patients). The bill includes proposed provisions for yearly licensing fees as well as limits on possession. The state would track all product with a database. And some home grows might be allowed as well.

Kentucky Cannabis Not About Taxes

The representatives behind the MMJ move add that seeking legalization is not just about collecting another tax from the citizens – “but rather to provide relief to the thousands of Kentuckians who suffer from conditions that have not responded to traditional medicine,” Rep. St. Onge said.

But does there appear to be enough support from both sides of the legislature? Significant discussion has already taken place regarding Kentucky cannabis legalization. Although law enforcement has expressed some concern as to the potential impact such a step might have on the state.

Show Me the Studies

Others want real research in their hands before they support Kentucky cannabis. State Senate President Robert Stivers asks, “Where is the study? Deliver me the study. An appropriate Tier 3 study with control groups that says it is medicinal or therapeutic.”

Marijuana is still federally classified as a Schedule I substance, so many in the industry find it difficult to pursue or locate detailed research on the effects of cannabis and its potential benefits and use in medicine.

It is too early to predict whether the bill will pass in the Kentucky state senate though. Although, informal polling of residents shows majority support.

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