The state of Kentucky is considered one of the 13 states in the United States of America to still have no medical or adult-use cannabis legalization in its area, reports Cannabis Business Times. However, it seeks to change its landscape as Kentucky lawmakers filed bills that would allow for a regulated medical cannabis program and an adult-use cannabis market to flourish.
According to Marijuana Moment, three Kentucky Democrats have filed and sponsored two bills in the state that would allow adults aged 21 and over in the state to gain access to legal cannabis sales while also expunging prior marijuana-related convictions. Meanwhile, it would also let registered medical marijuana patients gain access to the program.
The bills in question are Senate Bill 186 and House Bill 521. These are sponsored by Senate Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey, Senator David Yates, and Representative Rachel Roberts. The team introduced the legislation last February 17, 2022. Prior to this, Marijuana Moment revealed that last January, a Republican legislator only opted to legalize medical cannabis in Kentucky.
The bills are dubbed as the LETT’s Grow program based on the initiatives tackled under it, notes Cannabis Business Times. These include legalizing marijuana, expunging convictions, treating affected individuals and communities through medical marijuana, and taxing adult-use sales in the state.
It plans to levy at least 6% of sales tax on adult-use marijuana. This tax will also be levied on top of licensing fees. With the tax revenues, the state of Kentucky is slated to make approximately $100 million a year, particularly if sales are at par with its neighboring states, notes Cannabis Business Times.
Of this number, 30% of the state’s revenue is expected to be allocated for substance abuse treatment programs. It will also be given to small businesses, education grants, and minorities in the industry.
Cannabis Business Times also shares that the legislation aims to achieve a number of goals. These include creating a sector designed to include farmers and which these producers can be proud of.
Should this legalization be approved, Marijuana Moment reveals that individuals would be allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana at any given time in public. However, in private spaces, this could go up by as much as 12 ounces.
Moreover, the bills would also allow users to grow their own cannabis plants at home, with up to 10 plants per person.
To help regulate the market, the LETT’s Grow program would have a Cannabis Control Board which would work under a Cannabis Oversight Commission.
In a statement, Roberts said, “Our legislation is the comprehensive plan that Kentuckians deserve, and it builds on what’s worked in other states while avoiding their mistakes. This would be a boom for our economy and farmers alike, plus gives state and local governments a major new source of revenue.”
McGarvey conveys similar sentiments, saying, “Kentucky continues to fall behind in an area where we could be leading. It is 2022. It’s time we end the prohibition on cannabis in Kentucky.”