The Key To Kentucky Cannabis License Wins: Municipal Support

Medical Cannabis Is Now Legal In Kentucky

Earlier this year, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear legalized medical cannabis with the signing of SB 47, opening the doors for patients with qualifying illnesses to access cannabis. In a historic vote, Kentucky became the 38th state to lift cannabis prohibition after the governor rallied support from both citizens and state representatives to curb the reliance on addictive opioids and provide relief to those who experience severe or chronic pain.


A First Look at Kentucky’s Cannabis Program

With calls for finalized regulations by January 1, 2024, the bill already lays groundwork for how the program will operate and how you can begin preparing your cannabis business license application. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services will be charged with setting regulations and issuing licenses. 

Patients with qualifying illnesses will need a doctor or advanced nurse practitioner’s recommendation to obtain a medical ID card and purchase cannabis. Each patient will be allowed to possess a 30-day supply in their home and a 10-day supply on their person, but home cultivation will be prohibited. While smoking cannabis will not be allowed, patients will still be able to purchase flower to vaporize. 

While license types will include the usual suspects: retail, processing, safety and compliance facility (testing labs), and three tiers of cultivation, a relatively new type has been added for producers, which will allow licensees to process and cultivate in separate facilities. Each awarded cannabis license will be valid for 1 year from the date of issuance and applicants must obtain a license for each location they plan to open.


Local Support is Key to Winning a License

Though we’ll have to wait to see final regulations, one thing is clear: municipal support will be your key to winning a medical license in Kentucky. Similar to other states’ cannabis programs, Kentucky will be allowing municipalities to opt out of permitting cannabis businesses to open, but citizens can petition to opt back in. With this in mind, there’s one thing applicants should be doing right now: finding a town that is planning to allow cannabis businesses to open when licenses become available. You can do this by contacting your local officials and town boards to inquire about their plans for cannabis when the program launches; start building relationships with those that plan to opt in. 

Municipalities want to award licenses to qualified businesses that they know will be an asset to their town, while ensuring the safety of their communities. In order to gain support from these towns, it will take extensive business planning to outline how opening your cannabis business will benefit the area both financially and socially. You’ll need a qualified cannabis consulting team with industry knowledge, financial models demonstrating your projections, and operational plans summarizing how you will run a compliant and secure facility.

Start Planning Your Kentucky Cannabis License With Canna Advisors

You may be asking yourself, is one year out too early to start? The answer is simple: it’s never too early to start preparing. As we watch the regulations develop, it will be important to get all your ducks in a row before the official launch of the program. Our experts can help build your team, your brand and your business model so that any municipality wants you to provide cannabis to its patients.

Contact us today to get moving and plan for a Kentucky license win now.

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