Are you an avid cannabis user in Kentucky? Perhaps you’re new to the state. If so, you may wonder, “Is weed legal in Kentucky?”
The answer is no. Recreational use is illegal in the state. With that, the state has permitted CBD for patients under limited circumstances. Further, the laws don’t cover all patients who need it.
If you’re caught with non-medical cannabis, you could face jail time. In some circumstances, marijuana cases can trigger a mandatory sentence. Possession charges can range from a few months in jail to up to five years in prison.
If you have a possession charge, hire a lawyer sooner rather than later. This article will explain Kentucky’s marijuana laws in more detail. Let’s explore.
What Are the Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Kentucky?
Cannabis possession amounts to a misdemeanor. Such a charge can carry 45 days in jail and a fine of up to $250. However, the amount you have will determine the sentence. If you have up to 8 ounces, you may get a 45-day sentence.
This charge is a Class B misdemeanor. If you have more than 8 ounces, authorities will assume that you intended to distribute it, which carries a stiffer sentence.
What Are the Penalties for Selling and Trafficking?
The state’s sale and trafficking laws break down as follows:
- The selling or trafficking of less than 8 ounces: This category is a Class A felony and comes with a year in prison and a $500 fine. This sentence is usually applicable for first-time offenses.
- A second offense for selling less than 8 ounces: You can get a sentence between 1 to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- The selling or trafficking of 8 ounces: This is a Class D felony and results in a sentence between 1 to 5 years in jail. Subsequent violations in this category will trigger a Class C felony, resulting in a sentence of 1 to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- The selling or trafficking of 5 pounds or more: This category is also a Class C felony and comes with the same sentence of 5 years in prison. Future violations in this category is a Class B felony and will trigger a sentence between 10 to 20 years.
What About Weed Cultivation?
Cultivation is a Class A misdemeanor. As a result, you could get a year in prison and a $500 fine. Multiple violations turn into class D felonies.
Moreover, cultivation involving more than five plants is also a Class D felony. Additional violations turn into a class C felony.
What If I Drive Under the Influence of Cannabis?
Driving under the influence of a controlled substance is illegal. Since Kentucky considers cannabis a controlled substance, you can face charges.
Implied consent applies in Kentucky, meaning that you must submit to a blood, urine, or breath test if authorities suspect you’re under the influence. If you refuse, the state can suspend your driver’s license.
The first offense carries an automatic jail sentence ranging from 48 hours to 30 days. You could also face between $200 and $500 in fines. Subsequent offenses carry the following penalties:
- A second offense results in a sentence between 7 to 30 days. You may also face between 10 days to 6 months of community labor. Fines also vary between $350 to $500.
- A third offense causes an automatic sentence of 30 days in jail, or you can receive up to 12 months. You could also receive a sentence ranging from 10 days to 12 months of community labor. The fines range between $500 to $1,000.
- For additional offenses, you’ll get an automatic 240-day prison sentence.
Also, the state will suspend your driver’s license. The courts could also sentence you to a drug treatment program.
What About CBD?
CBD is legal in Kentucky as long it contains less than 0.3% THC. However, CBD deriving from cannabis is illegal in Kentucky. You can only purchase hemp-based CBD oil.
Cannabis CBD is also illegal for patients. Cannabis CBD normally contains high amounts of THC. Conversely, CBD oil from an industrial hemp plant doesn’t carry euphoric effects.
If you’re caught with cannabis CBD, you could face a 45-day jail sentence and a $250 fine.
Future violations of less than 8 ounces amount to felony charges that result in a sentence between 1 to 5 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Anything more than 8 ounces will carry longer sentences.
When Is Weed Going to Be Legal Kentucky?
No one knows when Kentucky will legalize weed, but officials expect it will become legal. Many Kentuckians don’t oppose marijuana use, especially as more people learn about its medicinal benefits.
Additionally, the Kentucky House of Representatives was on the verge of approving a cannabis bill in 2020. However, the pandemic has forced state officials to focus their priorities elsewhere. The bill would have regulated and taxed cannabis use in Kentucky.
However, the state passed a bill in 2014 that allows patients to use CBD under the recommendation of a doctor. However, the bill excludes many patients.
What About Local Efforts?
Even though marijuana is illegal statewide, local areas have decriminalized cannabis to some extent. Jefferson County allows people to possess less than an ounce of marijuana. Additionally, Louisville residents can possess up to a half-ounce of marijuana without facing prosecution.
Is Weed Legal in Kentucky Overall?
If you’re wondering, “Is weed legal in Kentucky?”, the answer is no. Medical patients can use CBD in limited cases. Medical marijuana and recreational marijuana remains illegal.
However, certain parts of Kentucky have decriminalized cannabis use in certain cases. Further, state officials attempted to pass marijuana legislation but failed to make headway. Nevertheless, the legislation has sparked an important debate that can lead to legalization in the future.
Where to Find Weed In Kentucky?
Unfortunately we can’t tell you where to find weed in Kentucky but if you come to the nation’s capital, Washington DC, you can find weed easily just take a look at our tourist’s guide. We have a number of smoke shops, delivery services and dispensaries that you can find all of your favorite strains. Check out our local cannabis companies and find what you’re looking for.