The state House of Kentucky finally passed a medical cannabis legalization measure that enables the state to enact a medical cannabis program. It took several drafts and attempts to get the medical cannabis legislature through the House. A vote of 65-30 finally pushed the medical cannabis bill through the Kentucky House and only two Democrats voted against it and the majority of Republicans voted in favor of the medical cannabis bill.
Kentucky’s medical cannabis legalization bill, House Bill 136, could find itself passed in the state Senate where it would then go on to become a state program. House Bill 136 would do what all cannabis bills do, which is establish a regulatory framework for medical cannabis products and prescriptions as well as a regulatory agency. If the medical cannabis bill is passed in the Senate, the state would rename a department into the department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control.
Rep. Jason Nemes, primary sponsor of House Bill 136, stated: “[House Bill 136 is] the tightest medical marijuana law in the country.” The amendments to House Bill 136 do add some weight to the statement made by Nemes. There are ports that outline a ban on the combustion and inhalation of dried cannabis flower, an option for Kentucky’s counties to opt out of medical cannabis, and the option for counties to ban public consumption of medical cannabis.
“House Bill 136 is that narrow path. I think a majority of his members will agree with it, and I’m going to ask [Stivers] to give us a vote,” said Nemes.
The Stivers that Nemes would as for a vote is the Senate President, Robert Stivers, who isn’t entirely convicted on the prospect of medical cannabis program in Kentucky. He believes that there is the need for more research into exactly how effective medical cannabis is before it is legalized in the state.
Stivers’ opinion on the medical cannabis bill in the Senate is that the bill has a “narrow path” to pass and said, “I think people are going to look at it and consider it.”