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Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear Plans To Take Action On Medical Cannabis Despite GOP Opposition

By Jelena Martinovic

While Kentucky has made strides in the hemp industry, it is still one of the 13 remaining states where cannabis is completely illegal.

Governor Andy Beshear Gives Hope To Cannabis Advocates

Now that the legislative session in the Bluegrass State is over, without a "happy end" for cannabis advocates and stakeholders, signals from Governor Andy Beshear are sparking optimism among Kentuckians with conditions that can be easily treated with medical marijuana.

Last month the governor cleared the way for a cannabis research center to open by approving a bill for it and using his line-item veto to expand the center's work and enable more freedom in choosing an oversight board.

On Thursday, Beshear was even more confident that he would be able to take "at least some executive action" to make medical marijuana legally accessible in the state, reported U.S. News.

"The legal analysis is not yet finalized, but I do think that there is going to be room for at least some executive action," Beshear said when asked for an update at his weekly news conference.

"Whatever steps we're able to take, we want them to be clear," the governor said. "We want it to serve a purpose. It is not a back-end way to allow recreational marijuana. So we want to make sure that we do it right."

Even though he didn't propose a new timetable for a possible executive decision, Beshear instructed his legal team to look into the matter. He previously said that a decision could come this summer.

Beshear's office set up a website for public comments on the issue while a medical cannabis advisory committee is in the formation process.

The GOP-led Senate has defeated previous House-passed cannabis legalization measures, pointed out Jim Higdon in an op-ed published by Marijuana Moment.

During the final weeks of the 2022 legislative session, key lawmakers who oppose MMJ legalization fought for the research center as an alternative. They argued the center would provide more time to examine the effectiveness of cannabis as a treatment for certain illnesses.


Photo: Courtesy of Miles Manwaring on Unsplash

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