“I think it’s going to get some play this session; I don’t know how much,” says Stumbo, noting that although Kentucky lawmakers have been hesitant of legalizing medical cannabis in past sessions, the momentum for change is increasing.
As part of the upcoming bill, cannabis possession and use would be legal for those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician. “Compassion centers” would be established as a means of safe access to the medicine.
In April, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed into law a proposal legalizing the cannabis compound cannabidiol. Although this move was a welcome step forward, it didn’t go nearly far enough to provide relief to those who need it, and could benefit from medical cannabis.
Senator Perry Clark has filed a separate medical cannabis legalization bill for the upcoming session, as he has the past several years.
According to polling released last year, 78% of those in Kentucky support legalizing medical cannabis.