Beshear’s medical marijuana now effective; What does this mean?

Cannabis sales still illegal within Kentucky

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – As of January 1st, 2023, Governor Andy Beshear’s executive order allowing Kentuckians to possess medical marijuana is effective.

“It is clear that Kentuckians want medical cannabis,” said Beshear as he signed the executive order last November. “Today’s action means Kentuckians that suffer from these chronic and terminal conditions will soon be able to get the help they need without living in fear of being charged with a misdemeanor.”

Now in 2023, certain Kentuckians can now legally use small amounts of medical marijuana bought outside the Commonwealth.

If you have one of at least 21 medical conditions, including cancer, seizures, or multiple sclerosis you qualify to use medicinal cannabis inside state lines.

37 states already allow medicinal or recreational marijuana use.

Bowling Green’s Center for Pain Management Dr. Ram Pasupuleti said, “It’s a small step towards legalizing medical cannabis, and I do hope it gets there, but we are not there yet.”

Dr. Pasupuleti says many of his patients have the same misconception regarding the executive order.

“My patients are coming in, starting the conversation ‘Now that marijuana is legal in Kentucky…’ I say ‘Whoa, hold on. That’s not true.’ That’s not entirely true, I should say.”

It is still illegal to sell cannabis in the Commonwealth. Also, those who qualify must only obtain eight ounces max: the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony.

Dr. Pasupuleti said even if the state government fully legalized medicinal cannabis, he and other pain management doctors still don’t have federal assurance that they can legally prescribe the drug.

“Even if Kentucky makes it legal, it’s still illegal federally,” Pasupuleti explained. “Medical marijuana is an oxymoron until the federal government moves it to Schedule 2.”

News 40 will provide you with updates regarding cannabis legalization in Kentucky.