Kentucky is well-known for its support of the hemp industry, but it has been slow to come around on marijuana. That may be changing.

On February 12, 2020, the Kentucky House Judiciary Committee approved a bill to legalize medical marijuana by an overwhelming vote of 17-1. The bill will now advance to the full Kentucky House, with sponsor Rep. Jason Nemes (R-Louisville) predicting it will pass with ease. The bill would then go to the Kentucky Senate, where its fate is unclear.

The House Bill (Bill 136) would prohibit smoking marijuana, but would allow consumption through pills and oils. The Bill does not identify qualifying medical conditions, but would instead create a regulatory board made up of eight doctors, four public advocates, and a pharmacist which would determine conditions that qualify for medical marijuana treatment.

If House Bill 136 is ultimately enacted, Kentucky would join the two-thirds of states that have legalized marijuana for medical use (11 states plus Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana for recreational use). Stay tuned to our blog for continued developments.