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State of the Commonwealth Speech Says Yes! to Cannabis

This past week Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, brought further attention to getting medical cannabis passed in Kentucky in his State of the Commonwealth speech from this Wednesday.

During the speech he made it clear that medical cannabis would be a legislative priority for the upcoming 2023 session, and was looking to the legislator for movement on the issue. This past year over 90% of Kentuckians voiced support for medical cannabis legalization during the open comment period during the Governor’s Advisory Panel.

After making an executive order allowing up to 8 oz of legally purchased cannabis for Kentuckians with a qualifying condition and testament from a licensed physician, the Governor has almost exhausted the independent action able to be taken to help medical cannabis patients without legislation. The cannabis must also be bought in a legal state, at a licensed cannabis business, and patients must retain the receipts of their purchases. There are 23 qualifying conditions from Cancer, to Epilepsy, and more. You can find a complete list of conditions here.

According to the Governor’s Speech on Wednesday, “Treating people right also dictates that in this session, this General Assembly finally legalize medical cannabis.

Far too many Kentuckians are suffering from life-threatening and chronic conditions, like our veterans with PTSD, or Kentuckians with cancer.

That is why I issued my executive order. It allows people to get the help they need without fearing a misdemeanor.”

Before his speech in December, Beshear met with advocates from KY NORML, Kentucky Mom’s for Medical Cannabis, and more Kentucky groups. KY Mom’s for Medical Cannabis and KY NORML partnered for a display of medical cannabis patients along the tunnel KY state representatives walk between the capitol building and the annex where they walk each session.

The Governor spoke about one of these patients during the speech,

“I recently heard the story of Chasity Harney. Chasity is a mother and wife from Kenton County, who in 2019 was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at the age of 40.

In addition to surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Chasity was also prescribed, in her words, ‘every form of pain pill there was.’

But like a lot of people, Chasity found the medications brought her little relief. Chasity found real relief from medicinal cannabis oil.

Chasity could not be here with us tonight, but I want to thank Chasity for her bravery and for sharing her story with the commonwealth. It’s going to help a lot of people. Let’s pass medical cannabis for Chasity and for every other person out there suffering!

You can catch the Governor’s speech in full here.

If you need a copy of the form to bring to your physician, you can find one here.

This is not to be confused with a prescription. The governor’s order simply requires an attestation of a qualifying condition that a medical patient does indeed have a condition. It does not constitute an endorsement or a recommendation to use cannabis for that condition. It does however allow medical patients to receive some protection for their use.


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