What Governor Beshear's Cannabis Advisory Means for the Future of Medical Marijuana in Kentucky
With the vast majority of Kentuckians supporting medical cannabis and a House that has twice in recent years passed medical marijuana legislation, we believe it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be able to get a Kentucky Marijuana Card.
So when exactly will that be? Well that we cannot say for sure; we’d have predicted it would have happened long ago.
We can’t say for sure what the recent formation of Governor Beshear’s Team Kentucky Medical Advisory Committee means for the future of medical marijuana here. We know that there is little the governor can do without the legislature to bring medical marijuana to the Bluegrass State, no matter what advice the committee gives him. Of course we also know that the legislature cannot continue to deny the people of Kentucky the relief they’re seeking.
And make no mistake about it: Kentuckians do indeed want medical marijuana. From that perspective, anything the governor can do to help expedite the inevitable arrival of legal cannabis here will be in the service of the people of Kentucky, and will place further pressure on state Senators who refuse to even debate medical marijuana legislation that their House colleagues have passed.
It may be that all Governor Beshear’s committee can do is place additional pressure on holdouts in the Senate, but that may be the key to making a difference.
What Is the Team Kentucky Medical Advisory Committee?
When HB 136, a medical marijuana bill passed in the House, was likely to fail in the Senate, Governor Andy Beshear announced his intention to find ways the executive branch alone could push for progress on cannabis in the Bluegrass State.
According to the Louisville Courier Journal, when a reporter at the time asked Beshear if he was considering an executive order to give suffering Kentuckians access to medical marijuana, the governor responded, “We’re going to explore that. It’s something that we will look at. Its time has certainly come.”
In comments made at the time to WUKY, the University of Kentucky’s NPR affiliate, Beshear said, “I'm going to have certainly our attorneys in the executive branch, as well as others that are interested, look at and explore every other option. This is the will of the people. I hope that the legislative branch will listen to it. If not, we're going to explore executive options.”
June 14, 2022: Governor Announces Formation of Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee
The governor took his first step toward keeping his promise to “explore every other option” on June 14, when he issued an executive order forming the Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee.
The order named the first seventeen members of the committee, individuals who, according to a statement from the governor’s office, “have relevant experience in health care, treatment of opioid use disorder and other diseases of addiction, law enforcement, criminal justice and advocacy for medical cannabis.”
“We start with a committee of people that really bring a wide array of experience and expertise to the project,” Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet and committee co-chair Kerry Harvey told the Courier Journal.
“You have medical people, pharmacy people, you have people that know a lot about substance abuse disorders, and you have people with very deep experience in law enforcement and prosecution. The committee itself can provide a great deal of useful information.”
Cannabis Advisory Committee Will Listen to “the Experiences and the Views of Kentuckians”
The committee members do have extensive experience with cannabis to share with the governor, but it’s not primarily their expertise that they’ve been charged with sharing. Instead, the governor has tasked the committee with gathering input and opinions from average Kentuckians.
Harvey told the Courier Journal that “Our plan is to go to different parts of the state and really just to have open town hall meetings so that anyone who is interested or concerned about this issue can provide the committee and ultimately the governor with not only their point of view, but their experience.”
According to the Courier Journal, not all of the town hall meetings have been scheduled, but one will be held July 19 in Frankfort, and the governor’s office has created a website so that people unable to attend a town hall may submit their opinions about medical marijuana online.
“The governor just wants us to access firsthand the experiences and the views of Kentuckians who would be affected by the use of medical cannabis,” Harvey said.
Marijuana Committee Unlikely to Affect Much Change Unilaterally
Unfortunately, there is little chance that the Cannabis Advisory Committee or Governor Beshear can make a significant change in Kentucky’s marijuana laws and policies.
However, by soliciting input from Kentuckians, the vast majority of whom support medical marijuana, the committee may speed up the eventual creation of the state’s medical marijuana program by gauging public opinion on what Kentuckans would like to see in their program.
Furthermore, by creating a very public reminder of the clear disconnect between the will of the voters and the actions of Senators, the committee’s reports on the wishes of Kentuckians will likely put pressure on lawmakers who refuse to let go of their outdated prejudices against cannabis and support a medical marijuana law.
Help Bring Medical Marijuana to Kentucky
There is little the governor and his committee alone can do to bring the safe, natural relief of medical marijuana to the suffering patients of Kentucky. Fortunately, they are not alone in their efforts.
If you would like to speed up the process, you can let your lawmakers know that they need to support your right to access safe, effective medical marijuana.
The House supported such a law this year, an outcome that only a few years ago seemed farfetched. If the 90% of us who support medical marijuana keep up the pressure, the Senate won’t be able to cling to their out-dates biases for much longer.
Let Us Help You Find Relief ASAP!
After you’ve contacted your lawmakers, contact us!
Reserve an evaluation online today with one of our knowledgeable, compassionate doctors, and we’ll book an appointment for you just as soon as Kentucky’s medical marijuana market is up and running. Why wait any longer than you have to for the relief you’ve been missing?
You’ll meet with your doctor virtually via a telemedicine appointment using your smartphone or computer. Together, you’ll discuss your condition and decide if medical marijuana is right for you. You’ll even save $25 off the cost of the appointment if you reserve your evaluation today!
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 book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!