January 1, 2023: Kentucky Legalizes Medical Marijuana. Kind of.

Kentucky is currently one of only 13 states in the USA where medical/recreational marijuana is still illegal. On January 1, 2023 it’s STILL ILLEGAL in most cases but Kentuckians with certain medical conditions can legally possess medicinal marijuana — with several caveats which include driving hundreds of miles out of state to where recreational marijuana is legal and bringing it back to the state for medical use.

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear tired of waiting signed an order taking action on medical marijuana after legislation on the matter stalled several times in Frankfort and objections by Rep. Thomas Massie and Senator Mitch McConnell both Republican.

Beshear’s executive action, signed Nov. 15, 2022, grants full pardons to those accused of marijuana possession so long as they meet several conditions:

  1. The marijuana must have been legally purchased in the U.S. Neighboring states Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and West Virginia currently allow sales of medical marijuana.
  2. Written proof of purchase, including date and location, must be on hand.
  3. The amount of medical cannabis possessed can’t exceed eight ounces.
  4. The individual or their caregiver has to present written, certified proof of an eligible medical condition.

Rep. Jason Nemes (R, Louisville) and other Republicans have pushed back against Gov. Beshear’s order, saying he doesn’t have the authority.

“The governor, no matter how much I agree with the issue, no matter how much one thinks a particular issue is good, they can’t just wipe out statutes,” said Nemes.


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