Kentucky Gov. Beshear Signs Bill Allowing Medical Cannabis Sales By Private Industry in 2025
KENTUCKY– Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed Senate Bill 47 into law on Friday, allowing private industry to sell cannabis beginning in 2025. This move puts Kentucky on the map in the modern cannabis industry, and it was hailed as a win for cannabis reform by cannabis advocates. The bill, which passed in the state House of Representatives with a vote of 66-33 after previously passing in the state Senate with a 26-11 vote, will make medical cannabis accessible to patients in the state.
Beshear, a longtime proponent of medical cannabis, issued an executive order last year to allow residents to use medical cannabis without fear of legal repercussions. He expressed his happiness with the legislature’s decision to follow through on his calls for medical cannabis to be made accessible. Although Beshear acknowledged that the executive order was imperfect, he said that the General Assembly delivered by finalizing SB 47.
The bill is considered more restrictive compared to some state medical cannabis laws, according to an analysis by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). It prohibits smoking cannabis, despite allowing the sale of raw flower. The bill limits THC levels to 35% for flower, 70% for concentrates, and 10 milligrams per serving for edibles, and it bans home cultivation. Local governments are allowed to prohibit cannabis businesses, though residents can force localities to opt-in via ballot measure. Most advertising is also prohibited, although typical business signs are allowed. SB 47 establishes at least eight different types of business permits, including dispensary, processor, producer, testing labs, and four different levels of cultivation, from 2,500 square feet of canopy up to a maximum of 50,000 square feet.
There are still many details to be determined, such as licensing and patient fee levels, as well as other business regulations which will be written by the state Cabinet of Health and Family Services by July 2024. Nevertheless, Beshear’s signing of SB 47 into law represents a significant step forward for medical cannabis patients in Kentucky.
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