Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill Headed to Kentucky House of Representatives

The Kentucky House of Representatives will consider a bill that would legalize medical marijuana after a key legislative committee voted to support the measure on Wednesday night. The House Judiciary Committee voted 16-1 to advance the legislation, HB 136, after a two-hour hearing that included testimony from patients seeking legal access to medical cannabis.

The bill is sponsored by Republican Reps. Diane St. Onge and Jason Nemes. St. Onge said that HB 136 would help 60,000 Kentucky residents living with chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and other conditions.

“We feel that we are not serving the Commonwealth and her citizens well by ignoring this large population of people who cannot find any comfort,” said St. Onge.

If passed, HB 136 would allow patients with one or more qualifying serious health conditions to use medicinal cannabis therapies, although St. Onge admitted that the state’s medical marijuana program would be one of the tightest in the nation. Smoking marijuana would not be permitted, processed medical marijuana products would be limited to 70 percent THC, and patients would not be allowed to grow their own cannabis. Instead, capsules, pills, topicals, and other marijuana products would be cultivated, manufactured, and sold by businesses licensed by the state.

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