Kentucky’s full Senate has given approval to a measure that would make the state the 39th to legalize medical marijuana.
The Senate voted 26 to 11 to pass Senate Bill 47, which was filed by Senator Steve West along with a bipartisan coalition of 13 cosponsors. The bill will now be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Senate Bill 47 would allow those who receive a recommendation from a licensed practitioner to possess and use marijuana and marijuana products. Although smoking marijuana would be prohibited, patients would still be allowed to access and possess dried marijuana flower for use in vaporizers.
In past years Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer has previously stood in the way of medical marijuana bills advancing in the Senate, including in 2020 and 2022 when the House passed similar measures. However, he now says that if the bill has enough votes to pass he won’t prevent it from advancing to the House.
Senate Bill 47 would establish a licensed and regulated system of medical marijuana dispensaries. The law requires the state to license at least 25 dispensaries, 15 cultivator licenses, five processor licenses and three producer licenses.
The bill would place explicit rental protections for patients, stating that “A landlord shall not refuse to lease to, or otherwise penalize, a person solely for his or her status as a cardholder, unless failing to do so would violate federal law or regulations and cause the landlord to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law or regulations.” In addition, it states that “No landlord may be penalized or denied any benefit under state law for leasing to a cardholder”, and that “a landlord shall not include in a rental agreement terms and conditions that prohibit the use of medicinal cannabis by a cardholder.
For the full text of Kentucky’s Senate Bill 47, click here.