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Kentucky Governor Hints That He’ll Legalize Medical Cannabis Via Executive Action

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Sep 26, 2022   
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The governor of Kentucky has hinted that he will take executive action to legalize medical cannabis in the state.

In a press conference on Thursday, September 22, Governor Andy Beshear told journalists that he had received a report from a medical cannabis advisory committee and “there will be some actions forthcoming.”

Beshear set up the medical cannabis advisory committee himself this June to gather views on medical cannabis in Kentucky and inform potential policy.

Medical cannabis is illegal in the state. Activists and politicians have tried three times, unsuccessfully, to legalize the medical form of the drug. Three legalization bills have been presented to the state House, in 2015, 2020, and 2022. The latter two were approved but stalled at the Senate.

Exasperated by the situation, Beshear said this April that he was considering legalizing medical cannabis himself by executive action. 

Now, with the advisory committee’s report in hand, it appears he may just do that.

Gov. Andy Beshear Team Kentucky Update - 9.22.22. Courtesy of Governor Andy Beshear's Youtube page.

“I have just received this morning an initial report from the medical cannabis advisory team that we put together,” Beshear said during the press conference.

“It’s based on the expertise of the individuals that include doctors and pharmacists as well as advocates and those that personally have gotten relief from the use of medical marijuana or medical cannabis. It’s also based on the input of meetings that were conducted all across Kentucky because we were committed to listening to the people of Kentucky, which parts of the General Assembly have refused to.”

“With that information, we’ll be making final determinations on actions that we could take but there will be some actions forthcoming.”

While the state may currently be without medical cannabis access, it is not without cannabis research. Only last week, the University of Kentucky announced the launch of “a new center that will advance research on the medical use of cannabis.”


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