Kentucky, one of the few remaining US states yet to legalize recreational cannabis, could soon decriminalize possession and use.
Last week, Democrat Rep. Nima Kulkarni put forward House Bill 72, which would seek to legalize possession and use of up to one ounce of cannabis in plant form, five grams of other cannabinoids derived from cannabis or hemp, and products containing 1000mg or less of delta-8 and delta-9 THC.
Crucially, the bill does not propose the legalization of commercial cannabis sales, but would enable users to cultivate up to five plants at home without penalty.
The bill, which is the second such effort from Rep. Kulkarni, is focused on ending penalties for cannabis users, and would prevent cannabis use being used as ground to revoke probation, parole or conditional release, Marijuana Moment reported.
According to local news outlet WEKU, she believes there is hope the bill can progress through the Republican-led General Assembly, stating: “There’s been bipartisan discussions and movement around the concept of criminal justice and justice reform efforts, which is exactly what this bill is and what these measures hope to achieve.”
It comes as the state’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services, responsible for developing specific regulations for the state’s Medical Cannabis Program, published ten draft regulations setting operating requirements for the various types of licensed operators.
These also include rules for medical cannabis transportation, packaging and labeling, advertising and testing. Critically, the draft regulations do not shed any light on the upcoming license application round or timeline.
Meanwhile, the Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Workgroup, alongside a board of physicians and advisors, voted unanimously to recommend to the General Assembly to expand the list of qualifying conditions that could be treated with medical cannabis in the state.
If passed, the newly covered conditions would include arthritis, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease and several others.