Kentucky House Passes Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill

Kentucky House Passes Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill
MJ moment

The Kentucky House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill to legalize medical marijuana in the state. The legislation now heads to the Senate. The measure, sponsored by Rep. Jason Nemes (R), was taken up by the full chamber about a week after clearing the House Judiciary Committee. Meanwhile, separate adult-use and medical legalization bills were filed by Democratic lawmakers last month. The vote on the floor was 59-34. “This is Kentucky grown, Kentucky processed, Kentucky tested,” Nemes said ahead of the vote. “Grown by Kentucky farmers on Kentucky land with Kentucky seeds for our Kentucky brothers and sisters and the Kentucky patients from across the Commonwealth.” Nemes filed a medical legalization bill in 2020 that soundly passed the House but later died in the Senate without a vote amid the early part of the coronavirus pandemic. He reintroduced the legislation for the 2021 session, but it did not advance. In the months since, the lawmaker has worked to build support—and recently earned the endorsement of Senate Judiciary Chairman Whitney Westerfield (R), for example, who said he will back the House bill despite personal reservations about marijuana reform because he’s heard from constituents who stand to benefit from the treatment option. Nemes has continually expressed confidence that the reform legislation would advance through the legislature if only leadership had the “courage” to put it to a vote. Prior to Thursday’s vote, Rep. Al Gentry (D) delivered an emotional speech telling the stories of several people he personally knows who have benefitted from medical cannabis. — Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments. Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become…

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