Kentucky Marijuana Laws
Anyone wishing to use recreational or medical marijuana in the state of Kentucky needs to be aware of the various Kentucky marijuana laws and the state’s position on this drug. In this guide, we’ll provide a full overview of Kentucky cannabis laws, including details on whether or not Kentucky has legalized medical cannabis.
Is Marijuana Legal in Kentucky?
At this time, marijuana in Kentucky is illegal for any kind of recreational usage. However, the situation regarding Kentucky medical cannabis laws is a little different. Specifically, the latest marijuana laws in Kentucky allow citizens to use small amounts (8oz or less) of medical marijuana that was purchased in another state.
Is Medical Marijuana Legal?
Yes, it is legal to make use of medical marijuana in Kentucky from 2023 onward, provided that the individual in question meets certain criteria. This is thanks to a bill regarding medical cannabis which passed the House in early 2022. After that, the state’s governor, Andy Beshear, carried out an executive order to partially legalize medical marijuana for certain people, allowing those with one or more of 21 medical conditions to be able to own and use marijuana that was purchased in another state, as long as they can show a valid written note from a doctor confirming their condition.
To qualify for medical marijuana in Kentucky, patients will need to obtain a written recommendation from a medical marijuana doctor licensed by the state. The doctor must verify that the patient has one of the eligible medical conditions and could benefit from medical marijuana treatment.
Is Recreational Marijuana Legal?
No, even though marijuana laws in Kentucky have recently been updated to allow for some medical usage, any recreational use of cannabis is still strictly forbidden in this state.
When Will Medical Cannabis Be Available in Kentucky?
The wait for marijuana legalized in Kentucky could go on for some time, but some experts are hopeful that the state might introduce new laws to make medical cannabis easier to access in this state. In the summer of 2022, Governor Beshear created a Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Committee, along with a public website about medical cannabis, encouraging more debate and discussion of the subject among the state’s citizens.
Kentucky Marijuana Laws
Next, we’ll look at specific Kentucky marijuana laws regarding matters like possession of cannabis and how law enforcement can respond if they find someone selling, growing, or using cannabis in this state.
Possession & Purchase
Possessing or buying cannabis in the state of Kentucky is an offense. Possessing less than 8oz can be charged as a misdemeanor, resulting in a small fine and short jail sentence, while those found selling or possessing larger quantities could face much harsher punishments, with jail sentences of up to 20 years for selling to a minor, for example. The only exception to this is people who have a small amount (less than 8oz) of medical marijuana on their person after buying it from another state.
How Much Can I Buy and Possess?
Only those with qualifying medical conditions can possess less than 8oz of medical marijuana purchased out-of-state. It is not legal for anyone else to buy or possess any amount of cannabis in Kentucky.
Where Can I Obtain Cannabis?
Kentucky cannabis laws forbid the sale of cannabis in this state, so it’s not possible to buy marijuana anywhere within the state’s borders.
Who Can Legally Purchase Cannabis in Kentucky?
Nobody is allowed to buy cannabis in Kentucky.
The cultivation of marijuana is illegal in Kentucky and can be punished with fines and jail time.
Kentucky does not have any reciprocity regarding marijuana programs and laws in other states.
Kentucky marijuana law forbids the consumption of cannabis, except for medicinal purposes for those with qualifying conditions.
Where Can I Safely Consume Cannabis?
It is illegal to consume cannabis in Kentucky unless you have a qualifying medical condition. Medical marijuana cannot be consumed in public places.
The executive order from the state governor lists 21 conditions that qualify to allow people to buy medical cannabis from another state and use it in Kentucky. The conditions are as follows:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Intractable seizures
- Parkinson’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Sickle cell anemia
- Chronic pain
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Hepatitis C
- Intractable pain
- Muscular dystrophy
- Huntington’s disease
- HIV or AIDs
- Glaucoma A
How to Obtain a Medical Card?
There isn’t currently a Kentucky medical marijuana card program, so it’s not possible to get a marijuana card in this state at this time. However, if the situation evolves further and medical cannabis starts to be sold in Kentucky, this could change.
It’s clear to see that Kentucky’s marijuana laws are in a state of evolution. Attitudes are changing throughout this state and the governor has been making strides to help patients who require marijuana for medical purposes. The situation may change even further in the years ahead.