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Governor gives progress report on medical marijuana

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Medical marijuana will not be legal in Kentucky until Jan. 1, 2025, but during a Thursday afternoon news conference, Gov. Andy Beshear gave a progress report on the preparations that are currently under way.

“We have established the Medical Cannabis Program, which is the office that is going to do this work, as part of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services,” Beshear said. “The office is preparing to communicate the implementation of this law with a new website that went live today. So, moving forward, you can get updates on the implementation through”

He described what the website contains. “Guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions, for providers, growers, physicians, APRNs, and others with an interest in the program.”

Beshear said the office also has pages on “X” (formerly known as Twitter), and on Linkedin, so the public can follow along.

Part of the legislation passed by the General Assembly earlier this year included the creation of a nine-member board of physicians and advisors to provide medical and scientific recommendations for the program. Beshear said the board held its first meeting on Wednesday and took its first steps towards ensuring Kentucky has a safe and effective medical cannabis program.

The governor also announced the formation of the Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Workgroup. “This workgroup’s purpose is to study evolving medical cannabis industry policy and the state of medical cannabis policy in our Commonwealth and around the country. This group will include individuals from state and local government, as well as the private sector, with relevant experience in law enforcement, agriculture, healthcare, workforce and economic development.”

He said the workgroup will make recommendations to the program and to other state agencies that interact with this new law, to make sure Kentuckians have safe access to medical cannabis.

Beshear added, under the executive order he signed before the General Assembly enacted the legalization bill, “Kentuckians with qualified medical conditions can continue to seek relief with medical cannabis by going out of state and following all those conditions that you need to carefully read in the executive order. All Kentuckians with qualifying medical conditions deserve a chance at a brighter, pain-free future, without ever having to turn to opioids. We know what those did to our state.”


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