Kentuckians will likely face challenges to get medical marijuana despite legal use

Marijuana Legalization
Posted at 7:00 PM, Nov 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-21 19:11:49-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Starting in 2023, some Kentuckians will be able to use and possess medical marijuana. However, they may face some challenges buying it.

Last week, Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order, which will allow certain Kentuckians to use medical marijuana that was purchased in a state where it is legal. Gov. Beshear outlined conditions that Kentuckians with at least one of 21 medical conditions must meet to access medical cannabis beginning January 1, 2023. Medical conditions include cancer, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, muscular dystrophy, or a terminal illness.

Other conditions to allow the use of medical marijuana in Kentucky include:

  • Cannabis must be bought in the United States of America in a state where the purchase is legal and regulated. Kentuckians will need to keep their receipt.
  • The amount a person can purchase and possess at any one time must not exceed 8 ounces, which is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony in Kentucky.
  • Each Kentuckian must also have a certification from a licensed healthcare provider that shows that the individual has been diagnosed with at least one of 21 medical conditions. A copy of the certification must be retained.

However, not every neighboring state will be able to sell to Kentuckians. Beshear said Kentuckians need to keep other states' rules in mind.

"That's another thing that people need to look at," said Beshear. "Where are you traveling? And what are their rules and regulations?"

According to state regulations, Ohio's medical marijuana dispensaries only sell to patients who are registered with the state's program. Missouri, West Virginia, and Virginia also technically do not accept out-of-state patients at the moment.

However, Missouri and Virginia will eventually allow recreational marijuana sales. Missouri voters and Virginia's lawmakers took steps to approve the move.

Illinois is the only neighboring state that currently sells recreational marijuana.

"You can purchase from a state that is recreational, but only, again, if it's legal there, if it's under 8 oz, and you have the certification from a doctor about your condition," said Beshear.

Beshear said Kentucky will soon put out further guidelines to help people understand different regulations.