Select Page

“When the world ends, I want to be in Kentucky, because everything happens 20 years later there.”

Cannabis for juicingWe are hoping that’s not true of medical cannabis in KY.

Currently, 29 states have medical and 9 have full legal, including Washington, DC.

Let that sink in for a minute. Our federal employees — including Congress and the military — can smoke pot till the cows come home with no fear of reprisal, but we taxpayers can lose everything over a toke, starting with our children.

As of 2013 in Kentucky, 78% of us want legal medical cannabis. What’s the holdup?

This year, we Kentuckians have 3 bills in the legislature: 2 for medical, HB118 and its companion bill SB166; and SB80 which is a full legalization bill. Links to all 3 bills below.

This article focuses on the medical cannabis bills.

SB118 & HB166 Highlights & Points of Interest

Thank you to Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana (KY4MM) for this summary!

Provides qualifying patients the choice, freedom, or liberty to try cannabis without fear of

Creates “Department Medical Cannabis Administration” within the Public Protection Cabinet
responsible for:

  • Public safety
  • Administrative regulations
  • Licensing of patients & caregivers
  • Licensing of canna-businesses

Localities opt in to having canna-business licensing within their district

  • Those opting in receive 20% of excise tax* & revenue from canna-business
    licensing to be used for:

    • Hiring new drug recognition experts (DRE’s)
    • Local enforcement of the medical cannabis law
    • Science based drug rehabilitation programs

Patients must have:

  • Qualifying condition
  • Qualifying practitioner
  • Certification from qualifying practitioner
  • Approval from “Department Medical Cannabis Administration”
  • Abide by rules & regulations or loose the freedom

Rules & Regs

Everyone in program must have department approved license

No public consumption, smoking or otherwise

DWI/DUI remain prohibited; funding for local DRE’s used to curb offenses

No advertising (billboards, radio, or tv)

KASPER-like program for patient consumption monitoring – KASPER tracks controlled substance prescriptions dispensed within the state

Product inventory & monitoring of canna-businesses

Practitioner cannot recommend a compassion center or vice versa

All cultivation of cannabis must be in locked enclosed facility

10mg per serving for oral consumption products

  • Must have state approved identifiable mark on product
  • Not resemble a recognizable product (gummy bear…)
  • Must be in childproof container
  • Sold in opaque containers

Why Home Grow is Critical

  • Cost savings to patient
  • Can grow different types for your specific needs.
  • Patient can use all parts of the plant, including leaves for juicing.
  • No public safety threat
  • Anyone has the right to brew alcohol.
  • If patient sells the cannabis they grow, patient loses the license.
  • Always know what’s in it.
  • Medicare and Medicaid don’t pay for this medicine.
  • If federal government changes policy to not allow commercial sales, patient still has safe access to their medicine.
  • If the US attorney general does go after legal cannabis, the patients can still get their medicine and continue their treatment.
  • In our tightly regulated bill, the state/police know everyone who is registered to grow at home. If not registered with the state, then they are breaking the law.
  • Because someone living on $850 per month can not afford dispensary prices & should not be excluded from safe access due to financial constraints.
  • Because once I find what works for me, I want to know that I will always have access to it. I want to know there are no chemicals in its growth cycle, ensure that it is the cleanest medicine I can have. Many people in legal states complain that they find an amazing strain & next time they go to purchase it… It is no more.
  • Home grows will not hurt the dispensary market. There will be those who don’t want to, can’t or won’t grow their own. There will be folks who want to try different strains to find what works best. There will be people who want something different for a Friday night. People who want to try an edible or different delivery method.
  • Access to medicine to those who can’t afford $200+ ounces (based off IL prices) is important. Those folks are often some of the sickest.
  • Also, growing plants in & of itself is therapeutic. You really can’t be stressed out when surrounded by beautiful medicine.
  • Very therapeutic
  • Because caregivers need to grow for all the people in their care with the above conditions/situations. I’ve got three people now on a list that I care for their CBD/THC needs. I’m expecting that to quadruple once legal.
  • Because people with chronic pain conditions need to have immediate access and there is no more immediate access than home grown.
  • There is no added financial burden for people that are disabled and already have minimal to no income.
  • Simply put, adequate home grown pain relief is invaluable.
  • Because being poor and disabled shouldn’t restrict me from growing what I need. I grow my own herb and vegetable plants in order to save money on food so why shouldn’t I grow my own medicine?
  • From a market perspective, home grow puts a natural ceiling on dispensary pricing. Dispensary prices will have to stay within reason so those prices are not an incentive for people to grow. I’d rather buy but if it got too expensive, I’d grow!
  • This is Kentucky, we *already* grow the best medicine in the world. California ain’t got nothin’ on these good ole boys!!
  • Personal responsibility
  • Individual liberty
  • Property rights

2018 Bills for Medical Cannabis in KY

History & Resources

In 2015, U.S. Representative Thomas Massie conducted a poll in his district (the 4th) asking 3 questions:

Excellent Big Picture with John Oliver

By the way, Bree was returned to her parents after 6 weeks.

FAQs from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (

Is marijuana a gateway drug? “…THE MAJORITY of people who use marijuana do NOT go on to use other, ‘harder’ substances.”

Drugged driving This study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about cannabis and driving says: “The more carefully controlled studies, that actually measured marijuana (THC) use by drivers rather than relying on self-report, and that had more actual control of co-variants that could bias the results, generally show reduced risk estimates or no risk associated with marijuana use (Elvik, 2013).”

Is marijuana addictive? They refer to it as “marijuana use disorder”: “People who use marijuana frequently often report irritability, mood and sleep difficulties, decreased appetite, cravings, restlessness, and/or various forms of physical discomfort that peak within the first week after quitting and last up to 2 weeks.”

Teen twins and marijuana “…the drug appeared not to be the culprit.” and “However, two recent twin studies suggest that this decline is related to other risk factors (e.g., genetics, family, and environment), not by marijuana use itself.”

*Taxing only mentioned in HB166