The Kentucky Senate recently passed medical cannabis legislation, just in time for the bill to advance to the House of Representatives. The move comes two days after the bill, SB 47, was approved by the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee.
Previously, a bill to legalize medical marijuana was passed by the House last year and in a previous session, but the Senate did not take any action on those bills. Thus, proponents began working on the Senate side this session to improve the bill’s chances of passage.
Some provisions of the measure include:
- Patients with severe pain, cancer, epilepsy, muscle spasms, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, chronic nausea or any other illness the state’s center for marijuana deem appropriate may be eligible to use cannabis as long as they have a medical practitioner’s prescription.
- While smoking is prohibited, users can still access raw marijuana for vaporization.
- Patients are allowed to keep up to 30 days of cannabis in their homes and up to 10 days on them at any given time.
- Products made from marijuana flowers would have a THC cap of 35%, while concentrates would have a 70% cap.
- The establishment of a nine-person Board of Advisors and Physicians made up of two advanced nurse practitioners and seven doctors.
One of the reform’s main obstacles has been Damon Thayer, Senate Majority Leader, who has vehemently opposed broad medical marijuana policy reform on the grounds that it would hasten the legalization of recreational cannabis. However, more recently, he declared that if the bill received enough support to pass, he would not obstruct it. This week, he voted in favor of the legislation in the senate committee, citing how well targeted it was. He also supported the bill during Thursday’s Senate debate.
Activists have constantly put pressure on legislators to pass reform this session, with organizations such as Kentucky NORML and Moms for Medical Marijuana (KMMC) making it clear that the issue has been in limbo for far too long.
In January, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) urged lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana, saying that doing so is a crucial reform that will ensure that the state is treating its citizens fairly. The governor’s speech came a few months after he signed two executive orders that regulated the sale of delta-8 THC products and permitted patients to possess not more than eight ounces of medical marijuana purchased from other states, provided certain criteria was met.
The use of marijuana for therapeutic purposes isn’t a random thing; plenty of studies have documented its medicinal potential. This is why for-profit companies such as India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are also conducting preclinical and clinical development programs with the objective of bringing to market formulations for conditions such as chronic pain.
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