House passes medical cannabis bill in 65-30 vote; pandemic derails progress in Senate
Last update: April 7, 2020
On February 20, the Kentucky House of Representatives voted 65-30 to pass a medical cannabis bill, HB 136. This was the first time the full House ever voted on the issue. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S. at an inopportune time, and the Senate decided to focus their efforts on the budget and the commonwealth’s pandemic response before adjourning for the year in April.
This setback is a tremendous disappointment for patients, who have been working for many years to convince the legislature to pass medical cannabis legislation. Check back for updates and opportunities to move the issue forward, including information relating to Kentucky’s 2020 elections.
Support for medical cannabis has been growing for several years. U.S. Senator Rand Paul added his support for the effort in March 2018. Gov. Andy Beshear was elected in November 2019 after supporting medical cannabis as a candidate.
Although it may take some time for an adult-use legalization bill to pass in Kentucky, these senators and others have started a conversation that will eventually lead to the end of cannabis prohibition.