The Bluegrass State keeps pushing towards medical marijuana, as a new bill was introduced in the state House last week that would allow patients with qualifying conditions to get Kentucky Marijuana Cards.
Rep. Nemes Continues to Fight for Medical Marijuana
This latest effort at creating a medical marijuana market here was introduced in the House by Representative Jason Nemes, and is an updated version of the medical marijuana bills he authored in 2020 and 2021.
Nemes’ 2020 bill made it through the House before dying in committee in the Senate, and his 2021 attempt didn’t advance.
Restrictions Added to Medical Marijuana Bill to Attract Conservative Support
Nemes’ latest attempt at crafting viable medical marijuana legislation is more narrow and restrictive than his past efforts, in an effort to attract support from GOP leaders in the state Senate who killed his earlier bills.
While whole-plant cannabis products would be available to patients under the currently proposed bill, smoking would be banned and patients would need to vaporize their medicine. Home cultivation would also be banned.
Many Details About Medical Marijuana Program Left to Legislators to Decide
Many of the specifics about the program are left unaddressed by the bill. Should the bill pass, those details would be finalized by legislators during an implementation period later this year in preparation for launching the state’s market in 2023.
So while we do not know exactly what qualifying conditions would make patients eligible for Kentucky Marijuana Cards, nor the specific possession limits, we do know that at a minimum cancer, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, chronic or debilitating nausea or vomiting, and chronic or debilitating pain would all be qualifying conditions.
We also know that the bill would ban discrimination against medical marijuana patients in child custody cases and organ transplant lists. Underage patients would also be allowed to dose at school under the supervision of a school nurse.
Bipartisan Support for Medical Marijuana Stymied by More Conservative Republicans
While Nemes, a Republican, has been perhaps the most ardent supporter of medical marijuana in the legislature, Democrats in state government also support the cause.
Democratic leaders in both chambers have said that medical marijuana will be a legislative priority for them in 2022, and Governor Andy Beshear is also a supporter.
Still, Republicans remain the staunchest opponents of any kind of marijuana legalization. House Speaker Pro Tempore David Meade, for example, said that he’s still “on the fence” about medical marijuana. And Senate Floor Leader Damon Thayer said he will oppose the bill no matter the wishes of the people of Kentucky.
“I know my constituents are for it,” Thayer said, “but this is a republic, and they elect us to go to Frankfort and make decisions on their behalf—and if they don’t like it, they can take it out on me in the next election.”
You Can Help Kentucky and Yourself
If you’re living with one of the many conditions that medical marijuana can safely and effectively treat, you would of course benefit from the passage of a medical marijuana bill. But the fact of the matter is that such a law would be a blessing to the entire state as well.
So if you’d like to help bring relief to Kentucky, let Senator Thayer and other holdouts in the legislature know how you feel about medical marijuana. And then help yourself and reserve an appointment online today with one of our doctors.
You’ll meet with your new doctor virtually, using your smartphone, tablet, or computer for a telemedicine appointment. Without even leaving your home, you’ll learn if you qualify for a Kentucky Marijuana Card and how cannabis might help you. You’ll even save $25 off the cost of the evaluation!
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
Helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at (833) 781-6360, or simply reserve a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust as soon as it’s avaialable!