Kentucky Governor Announces Medical Marijuana Executive Steps, Slamming Senate Inaction

Kentucky Governor Announces Medical Marijuana Executive Steps, Slamming Senate Inaction
MJ moment

The governor of Kentucky on Thursday explained how he plans to advance the issue of medical marijuana administratively, criticizing the Senate for failing to heed the will of voters and for “obstructing” reform by refusing to even give a hearing to a House-passed bill this year. Gov. Andy Beshear (D) has made several comments about the possibility of taking executive action on cannabis policy in recent weeks, but with a House-passed medical marijuana legalization bill now dead with the end of the legislative session, he announced plans to make progress on his own. He won’t be unilaterally legalizing cannabis—at least not yet. But he said that the first stage of the plan is to have his staff “begin analyzing options that we may have under the law for executive action on medical cannabis.” Beshear is also convening a “Medical Cannabis Advisory Team” that will “travel around the state and listen in every corner of Kentucky for what you have to say about medical cannabis.” When pressed on the legality of potential broader executive moves to provide patients with medical cannabis access, the governor reiterated that the administration is “looking through our legal options right now.”

“Certainly there is the criminal piece of it, but there are a number of potential options there,” he said. “My goal is to look at the full menu of options that can be out there.” In the meantime, those who aren’t able to participate in the public events of the new advisory team to make their opinions heard can send feedback to GovMedicalCannabisAdvisoryTeam@ky.gov. The public engagement “gives us a chance over the next couple of months to be thoughtful, but we will be looking at action and a culmination into some form of action, depending on our legal options, at the end of…

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