The medical marijuana advisory team appointed by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear finally met last Monday, June 20, 2022. In total, 17 members of the panel attended the meeting that sought to discuss medical marijuana use and access for citizens and patients living within the state.
The meeting comes after the governor has announced the appointment of Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Kerry Harvey and Public Protection Cabinet Secretary as co-chairs of the medical marijuana advisory board.
In a statement, Governor Beshear said, “This thing’s time has come. It was the legislation’s job to follow the will of 70-80% of Kentuckians,” reports the Associated Press.
Besides tackling the committee’s scope and responsibilities, the meeting also covered town hall meetings. The first town hall meeting is slated to commence on July 6, 2022, in the Health Professions Education Building at the University of Pikeville, while the second town hall is expected on July 19, 2022, at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
There are two more town hall meetings to be scheduled after the two aforementioned ones. Both of these remaining town halls are targeting the northern and western parts of the state, reveals WLKY.
Apart from the town hall agenda and discussion on the committee’s responsibilities, the advisory committee will also be traveling around the state. According to Fox 56, the idea behind this is to gain more insight into people’s views on the issue.
In a statement, Harvey said, “In part of his thinking, he wants us to provide him with the opinions of people all across Kentucky and that’s all opinions. There’s a diversity of opinions on this like there is everything. Everyone who wishes to express their opinion will get a chance.”
Furthermore, the WKYT reports that Harvey also remarked, “It’s time to advance this debate, 37 or 38 other states have acted on this. So, it’s wonderful to see people from all parts of the commonwealth come together and work on something of this importance.”
Other people in the committee share this sentiment as well. In particular, fellow committee member Dee Dee Taylor said, “Speak up, talk to us, give us your opinion, and tell us what you think about it. I know there’s opposition, I know people want recreational, that’s not what this is about. It’s for medical and that’s what we’re here for.”
According to the WKYT news, they have received over 700 comments on its website, medicalcannabis.ky.gov, since Friday, June 17, 2022. Of these comments, around 10 were supposedly opposed to medical cannabis measures in the state of Kentucky.
As of writing, recreational cannabis is still deemed illegal in Kentucky. The state, however, is slowly making strides to allow patients to gain access to medical marijuana after passing a medical cannabis bill just in March of this year.
The plant is still not decriminalized in the state. Those who are caught in possession of the marijuana plant of up to eight ounces on them will get up to a $250 fine and a maximum jail time of 45 days.