Members of the Kentucky House of Representatives voted by a margin of more than two to one in favor of legislation, House Bill 136, facilitating medical cannabis access. The vote marks the first time that a legislative chamber in the state has ever advanced medicinal marijuana legislation.
“This is a historic day for Kentucky”, said Matthew Bratcher, Executive Director of Kentucky NORML. “We are so proud of the work all the advocates did this year, and all the years prior, in helping to educate their families, communities and their legislators on the facts about medical cannabis. We commend the House of Representatives for listening to their constituents and standing up for patients in passing this bill. This will be the most restrictive medical cannabis bill in the country, which is not ideal but certainly an excellent start. We look forward to the continuation of this process and will closely watch what happens in the Senate.”
Under the plan, which now awaits Senate action, qualified patients would be able to obtain cannabis products from state-licensed dispensaries. Smoking herbal cannabis will not be permitted under the proposal.
According to statewide polling compiled in January by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, 90 percent of state residents support regulating medical marijuana access.
Although the bill is anticipated to face pressure in the Senate, the plan is expected to receive support from newly elected Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, who has previously expressed a willingness to vote in favor of legalizing medical cannabis.