Medical Cannabis In Kentucky: A First Look at SB47

Kentucky Enters The Medical Cannabis Market

We’re pleased to welcome Kentucky into the medical cannabis fold. Kentucky has long boasted a strong hemp and CBD market, and it was only a matter of time until cannabis legalization came to fruition, especially with the Governor’s uncommonly staunch support. If you recall, medical cannabis use was first touched on by Executive Order 2022-798. The Executive Order is currently in effect and allows a conditional preemptive pardon for possession for medical cannabis patients who meet certain criteria, but it does not legalize, decriminalize, or set up a pathway for retail sales of medical cannabis.

Following the executive order, Governor Beshears pushed legislators to pass the medical cannabis bill we have today. The Kentucky medical cannabis bill (SB47) is relatively lengthy and already provides structure for the program and requirements for further regulation and rollout.

A Confusing Timeline For Final State Regulations

Though many provisions like legal sales and possession won’t take effect until January 1, 2025, to the surprise of some, the bill does contain substantial 2024 deadlines. According to SB47, the cabinet will be required to create a uniform license application process no later than July 1, 2024 for medical cannabis business operators, qualified physicians, and medical patients to get approved by the state board to operate a cannabis business, issue medical cards, and purchase medical cannabis, respectively.


What Will The Kentucky Cannabis Application Require?

The cabinet will also be required to release regulations for cannabis business operations, which includes everything from security and record-keeping to testing procedures and employee training. Though we have yet to see what will explicitly be on the application, the bill does mention the applicant will need to submit the name, address/global coordinates, and all board members and officers of the proposed cannabis business when applying for a license. The law also states that the cabinet can deny any application that does not ‘satisfy the security, oversight, or record-keeping administrative regulations promulgated by the cabinet.’

License Types and Regulations Outlined In Kentucky SB47

The bill outlines the typical license types: four-tiered cultivation, dispensary, processor, and safety compliance facility (testing facility), with a new type not typically seen, especially in a medical round: a producer. This license type will allow licensees to operate one cultivation facility and one processor facility at separate locations. While we have yet to see restrictions on how many licenses an applicant may apply for, we should expect to have more information released in July.

Medical Cannabis Cards and Who Can Get One

Much like we’ve seen in the past, medical cards will be issued to those with qualifying medical conditions through a standard application process. However, there is some innovation with this process as Kentucky is set to allow “visiting medical card holders” to purchase cannabis within the state if they were diagnosed with a qualifying condition and hold a medical card in another state. Though the list of qualifying conditions has yet to be released, the cabinet is charged with creating a system to establish that list and begin issuing medical cards.

Stay Informed and Get Prepared With Canna Advisors

When a state like Kentucky is at the very beginning stages of a new cannabis program, it can become difficult for hopeful operators and applicants to stay ahead of all the new changes and information released during the process. Partnering with an experienced, qualified consultant is crucial as a first-time operator in a new medical state. Canna Advisors brings 10+ years of experience in 38 states with an expert team of lawyers, technical writers, and cannabis consultants prepared to guide you through the business development and application processes.

Contact Canna Advisors to find out how you can get started on your Kentucky medical cannabis business today.

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