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  • Christopher D.

Where Will You Be Able to Buy Marijuana in 2025? Kentucky Governor Discusses Next Steps

With the signing of Senate Bill 47 (SB 47) by Governor Andy Beshear on March 31, 2023, Kentucky legalized medical marijuana, marking a significant shift in the state’s approach to marijuana. 

The program will take effect on January 1, 2025, bringing hope and relief to many Kentuckians suffering from various medical conditions. As we look forward to this new era, it’s essential to understand where medical marijuana will be available and why obtaining a medical marijuana card is crucial.

Kentucky’s Medical Marijuana Program

Kentucky's journey towards medical marijuana legalization began with SB 47, which set the framework for a comprehensive medical marijuana program. Despite the excitement surrounding the bill's passage, the program will not be operational until 2025, ensuring adequate time for infrastructure development and regulatory preparations.

The Kentucky medical marijuana program aims to make dispensaries accessible to patients across the state. To achieve this, the program will operate in 11 regions, each strategically designed to minimize travel time for patients. The state plans to grant 48 licenses to dispensaries through a lottery system, with an emphasis on fair distribution and accessibility.

Regions and Licensing

Each of the 11 regions will have a specific number of dispensary licenses, ensuring coverage across the state:

  • Region 1 (Bluegrass): Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Fayette, Franklin, Garrard, Harrison, Jessamine, Madison, Mercer, Scott, and Woodford counties.

  • Region 2 (Kentuckiana): Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, and Trimble counties.

  • Region 3 (Northeast): Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Robertson, and Rowan counties.

  • Region 4 (Southcentral): Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson, and Warren counties.

  • Region 5 (Cumberland): Bell, Casey, Clinton, Cumberland, Harlan, Knox, Laurel, Lincoln, McCreary, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Russell, Wayne, and Whitley counties.

  • Region 6 (Mountain): Breathitt, Clay, Estill, Floyd, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, and Wolfe counties.

  • Region 7 (Pennyrile): Caldwell, Christian, Hopkins, Lyons, Muhlenberg, Todd, and Trigg counties.

  • Region 8 (West Kentucky): Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Crittenden, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Livingston, McCracken, and Marshall counties.

  • Region 9 (Lincoln Trail): Adair, Breckinridge, Grayson, Green, Hardin, Hart, Larue, Marion, Meade, Nelson, Taylor, and Washington counties.

  • Region 10 (Northern Kentucky): Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen, and Pendleton counties.

  • Region 11 (Green River): Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union, and Webster counties.

The lottery system for dispensary licenses is designed to ensure fairness and accessibility. Interested businesses can apply for licenses beginning July 1, with the application period closing on August 31. The lottery will take place in October, determining the initial dispensary operators.

Dispensaries must adhere to strict regulations to maintain their licenses. These include:

  • Prohibiting sales to minors.

  • Limiting the sale of high-THC products.

  • Ensuring proper zoning compliance.

  • Prohibiting financial arrangements with medical marijuana practitioners.

  • Why Medical Marijuana is the Right Choice

The Importance of a Medical Marijuana Card

A medical marijuana card is the only legal way to access marijuana in Kentucky. With recreational marijuana still illegal, cardholders have legal protections that allow them to possess and use marijuana for medical purposes. This legal status is essential for patients who rely on marijuana for their health and well-being.

Medical marijuana patients often benefit from lower taxes on their purchases compared to potential recreational markets. Additionally, dispensaries may offer discounts and loyalty programs for cardholders, making treatment more affordable.

Holding a medical marijuana card can provide certain workplace and housing protections. Employers and landlords may be more accommodating to cardholders, recognizing the legitimacy of their medical needs. This is particularly important for patients who require marijuana to manage chronic conditions and maintain their quality of life.

Preparing for 2025

Starting January 1, 2025, Kentuckians can register for medical marijuana cards. To qualify, individuals must:

  • Be a resident of Kentucky.

  • Have a qualifying medical condition.

  • Obtain a written certification from an authorized medical marijuana practitioner.

The registration portal will open on January 1, allowing patients to apply and receive their cards.

With dispensaries distributed across 11 regions, patients should have relatively short travel distances to obtain their medicine. The state’s focus on geographic accessibility ensures that even those in rural areas can find a dispensary nearby. Patients can check the state’s website for a list of licensed dispensaries and their locations.

As the program develops, staying informed about new regulations and updates is crucial. Patients should regularly check the Kentucky medical marijuana program’s website and subscribe to newsletters or alerts for the latest information.

Kentucky's medical marijuana program is set to revolutionize healthcare for many residents, providing much needed relief for various conditions. With dispensaries strategically placed across the state, access will be convenient and widespread. 

As we approach 2025, it’s essential for potential patients to understand the benefits of medical marijuana and the importance of obtaining a medical marijuana card. This program not only promises therapeutic benefits but also ensures legal protections and access to regulated products, making it a critical resource for many Kentuckians.

Get Ready for Medical Marijuana in Kentucky

Medical marijuana will be legal in Kentucky in 2025! However, Kentuckians who qualify can receive a pardon if purchasing medical marijuana from other states, so get a doctor's certification as legal protection!

Marijuana is a natural, safe alternative medicine without the harsh side effects of many prescription drugs. If you think you could benefit from medical marijuana, you probably qualify!

Schedule an online evaluation with one of our knowledgeable, compassionate doctors or contact us at (833) 781-6360.

You'll meet with your doctor virtually via a telemedicine appointment using your smartphone or computer, and together, you'll discuss your qualifying condition. Read more about the executive order and the requirements to be eligible for a pardon here.

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