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Hopes are high for Kentucky medical marijuana board

Medical Marijuana Shrinking Market
Posted at 11:10 PM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 23:10:10-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — 
Members of a newly formed medical marijuana advisory board met for the first time Monday at the direction of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear.

The Kentucky Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee will travel around the state to hear from residents, local leaders, and advocacy groups, before bringing recommendations to the governor's office.

"There's a diversity of opinion on this like there is on everything," said Kerry Harvey, secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, who is the co-chair of the board. "Everyone who wishes to express an opinion will have a chance."

Julie Cantwell, one of the board members who attended the initial meeting Monday, said she is optimistic about the committee's impact.

"If [Governor Beshear] can do anything we're begging him to please do something," Cantwell said. "Because people are really, really sick and people are suffering."

Cantwell is an advocate with Kentuckians for Medical Marijuana. Her son, who was diagnosed with drug resistant epilepsy, found comfort using medical marijuana.

"Three years ago we let him start using medical cannabis from out of state," Cantwell said. "And he hasn't had a seizure in 32 months using medical cannabis."

In a press release announcing the members of the advisory committee, Governor Beshear noted that medical marijuana has been used as an alternative to "highly addictive opioids" to help alleviate chronic pain.

Beshear said the committee will schedule town hall meetings throughout the commonwealth. The first meeting is slated for early July in Pikeville.