Kentucky Senate Passes Historic Bill to Legalize Medical Cannabis

On March 16th, 2023, the Kentucky Senate passed a bill to legalize medical cannabis, making it the first state to do so in the United States.[0] The House had previously approved similar bills in past sessions but they had always stalled in the Senate.[1] The new law allows for medicinal, sacramental, and recreational use of cannabis by adults age 21 and over.[2] It will also allow for the purchase of cannabis products from licensed sellers and possession of up to 8 ounces of marijuana, six mature marijuana plants, and six seedling plants. In addition, it will establish a licensing process for recreational marijuana dispensaries, commercial growers, processors, and transporters. A 15% state excise tax will be placed on each sale, with the surplus revenue going towards student services, drug addiction treatment programs, courts, local government, and general revenue.[3]

However, private consumption, sales, and transportation of cannabis are still prohibited.[2] Additionally, cannabis use cannot be used against applications for public assistance, hinder gun ownership, or used against someone in child custody disputes.[3] The Office of Cannabis Regulation is currently working on developing rules and regulations governing the cannabis industry in the Territory before the new law can be fully enacted.[2] Furthermore, people under 18 who possess marijuana will be subject to a substance misuse assessment, while those between the ages of 18 and 21 will face a violation for simple possession.[4]

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0. “Medical marijuana bill passes in Kentucky Senate”, 18 Mar. 2023,

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2. “Government House clarifies territorial cannabis status | News …”, 18 Mar. 2023,

3. “Oklahomans to vote March 7 on recreational marijuana | News …”, 18 Mar. 2023,

4. “New Hampshire House Votes To Legalize Marijuana With No …”, 18 Mar. 2023,

5. “Michigan Cannabis Sales Jump 40% to $216 Million – New …”, 18 Mar. 2023,