Did you miss our live stream on March 16? No problem. We have the Senate Floor Vote on SB 47 right here for you to review.
Subscribe to our email updates!
KY HB590 - AN ACT RELATING TO MEDICINAL CANNABIS
Introduced Session: 2023 Regular Session
Bill Summary: Create a new section of KRS Chapter 218A to define "cannabis"; require the Kentucky Center for Cannabis to establish criteria for determining when sufficient data exists to support the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes; permit the center to produce and dispense cannabis products to certain patients; permit the center to establish and operate cannabis dispensing centers throughout the state, exempt patients who receive cannabis products from the center from prosecution for a violation of KRS 218A.1421, 218A.1422, or 218A.1423.
Subject: Cannabis Drugs and Medicines Education, Higher Health and Medical Services
Sponsors (2): Kimberly Moser (R)*, Thomas Smith (R),
Medical cannabis has been a hot topic for legislators in Kentucky for the past several years, and Representative Kim Moser's bill, HB 590, has caused controversy among those who support it. The bill seeks to leave the decision on whether or not Kentucky gets a medical cannabis program up to the Kentucky Center on Cannabis, established by Moser in a previous session. However, the Center for Drug and Alcohol Research, which oversees the Center, has a history of demonizing cannabis and cannabinoids and spreading debunked Drug War propaganda.
The lead researcher at the Kentucky Center for Cannabis, Dr. Shanna Babalonis, has little experience with clinical studies and from all accounts has had a difficult time getting and retaining research subjects. Moreover, the research the Kentucky Center for Cannabis is currently doing is not novel or groundbreaking, but merely rehashing studies from other facilities with better funding and knowledge bases.
KY HB 590 is nothing more than bad-faith, self-serving legislation meant to continue denying the people of Kentucky access to cannabis. Despite more than 30,000 scientific and clinical studies on cannabis and cannabinoids in the last decade, this bill claims to determine whether sufficient scientific data and evidence exist to demonstrate the medical, therapeutic, or palliative benefits of cannabis.
House Bill 590 leaves all aspects of a medical cannabis program to the University of Kentucky through its related research departments, which has no experience in growing cannabis to scale, knowledge of the different cultivars and their uses for specific medical conditions, or setting up a distribution network. The decision for medical cannabis would be left in the hands of uninformed, unprepared, and unsuited unelected state employees who are beholden to their financiers from pharmaceutical, insurance, and anti-choice organizations.
We view this effort as waste of taxpayer money. At least $2 million is appropriated from Kentucky taxpayers, who will also fund the growing facilities, distribution, and implementation needs for a medical cannabis program. The trial and error research that will bring us no further to any understanding of the cannabis plant that hasn't already been done will be paid for by the Kentucky taxpayer.
Rep. Moser's HB 590 is not the reform that the people of Kentucky need. Instead of wasting time and money on a program that will likely fail, legislators should focus on the existing scientific data and industry standards for dosage guidelines and appropriate methods of consumption for cannabis. Instead of a big-government program taking the lead, private enterprises should have a role in growing, processing, and distributing cannabis, and legislators should not be beholden to special interest groups. The people of Kentucky deserve better.
KY HB 590
KY SB47 - AN ACT relating to medicinal cannabis.
Introduced Session 2023 Regular Session
Create new sections of KRS Chapter 218A to define terms and establish a medicinal cannabis program; amend KRS 342.815 to establish that the Employer’s Mutual Insurance Authority shall not be required to provide coverage to an employer if doing so would subject the authority to a violation of state or federal law; amend KRS 216B.402 to require hospital emergency departments to report cases of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control; amend KRS 218A.010, 218A.1421, 218A.1422, 218A.1423, and 218A.500 to conform; amend KRS 12.020, 12.252, 15.300, 15.380, 15.398, 15.420, 15A.340, 61.592, 62.160, 131.1815, 211.285, 241.010, 241.015, 241.030, 243.025, 243.0307, 243.038, 243.090, 243.360, 438.310, 438.311, 438.313, 438.315, 438.317, 438.320, 438.325, 438.330, 438.337, and 438.340 to change the name of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control; some sections EFFECTIVE July 1, 2024.
Stephen West (R)*, Shelley Frommeyer (R), Denise Harper Angel (D), Jimmy Higdon (R), Stephen Meredith (R), Gerald Neal (D), Mike Nemes (R), Brandon Smith (R), Reginald Thomas (D), Robin Webb (D), Phillip Wheeler (R), David Yates (D),
to Committee on Committees (S) (on 01/05/2023)
Kentucky Senate Bill 47 is seen as a continuation of the previous discussions around medical cannabis as proposed by Rep. Nemes in previous legislative sessions. Although it has some flaws, such as the absence of home grows for patients and caregivers, no employment protections for medical cannabis patients, and the mandated use of pharmacists in dispensaries, these issues are not insurmountable.
SB 47 aims to promote a healthy medical cannabis industry while keeping a tight leash on qualifying patients. It has been supported by legislators from both sides of the aisle, as well as civil rights, law enforcement, union, veteran, medical organizations, and patient advocacy groups. However, SB 47 still needs support from more legislators to pass in the Senate.
Recently, we attended meetings with members of Senate leadership and committee chairpersons seeking support for the bill. We provided them with fact sheets on cannabis and the book on the Clinical Applications of Cannabis and Cannabinoids authored by Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, and Chair of Science at Oaksterdam University. Kentucky NORML offered to answer any questions they may have on the subject, but we have yet to hear back from anyone on that front.
We urge everyone to reach out to their legislators and ask them to support cannabis policy reform during this session. The clock is ticking, and we need more enthusiasm from legislators to support this bill and other proposed medical cannabis bills such as HB 22, HB 107, SB 51, and SB 78.
Let's make sure Kentucky moves forward in supporting safe and accessible medical cannabis for those who need it.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
If you find a business selling medical cannabis cards or certifications in Kentucky, you can email us or report it directly to the Attorney General's Scam Report
We have now heard of medical cannabis cards being sold for as much as $250.
Please do not purchase medical cards at this point. You can refer to our FAQ post and if you still have questions email us directly
In Kentucky, medical cannabis is not yet legal, and possession of the drug can result in criminal charges. To protect Kentuckians, the Governor has issued an Executive Order on Medical Cannabis. However, the general public's confusion about this order has led to a surge of medical cannabis card scams.
Today, Governor Beshear signed two cannabis-related executive orders. The first allows patients who have been diagnosed with a qualifying condition to possess up to 8 ounces of medical cannabis legally obtained from dispensaries in states that offer reciprocity. The second order pertains to the regulation the sale of delta-8 products.
The first order will take effect starting on January 1, 2023.
“Kentuckians suffering from chronic and terminal conditions are going to be able to get the treatment they need without living in fear of a misdemeanor,” Beshear said. “With 37 states already legalizing medical cannabis and 90% of Kentucky adults supporting it, I am doing what I can to provide access and relief to those who meet certain conditions and need it to better enjoy their life, without pain.”
Representative Jason Nemes is correct in the defense of his bill not being for revenue generation. Patients, many of whom are on disability or fixed income, should not be seen by lawmakers as a viable source of new tax revenue. This will ensure legal cannabis products do not remain out of reach from the patients who need them most. However, this bill falls short on a few major points and not for Rep. Nemes’ lack of effort. Over the last couple of years, he has been forced to negotiate out important aspects of a patient-centric medicinal cannabis program to appease many members of his chamber and party.
From The Board Of Directors
Letter To The Editor
News In The Commonwealth
SAFE Bankinng Act