Cannabis cultivation of any kind is not legal in Fayette County because the use of cannabis even for medical purposes is not legal in the state of Kentucky.
According to the Summary of Activities of the Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee, House Bill (HB) 136 calling for the legalization and regulated use of medical marijuana was passed by the Kentucky House of Representatives in its legislative session in 2022 with a bipartisan vote of 59-34. The Senate, however, did not vote on it.
As a result, Governor Andy Beshear created the Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee to gather the population’s feedback on cannabis use. He intends to use the feedback as his guide in taking executive action on medical cannabis usage. Based on four town hall meetings held in July 2022 and comments on the Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee website, more than 90% of the state residents favor the legalization of medical cannabis use.
According to a document of the bill, HB 136 does not allow patients who hold medical marijuana cards to cultivate medical marijuana. If the bill is passed, only licensed cannabis cultivator or producer businesses will be allowed to grow and harvest medical cannabis. Cannabis producer business licenses will authorize the licensees to both cultivate and process medical marijuana. HB 136 allows counties such as Fayette to pass a local ordinance banning all cannabis businesses within their territories, though.
The bill requires licensed cannabis cultivators or producer business licensees to grow medical cannabis in enclosed indoor spaces with the facility secured and locked against unauthorized entry.
The following regulations for all medical cannabis businesses will be implemented:
Licensed medical cannabis businesses must be more than 1,000 feet away from any daycare center, elementary school, or secondary school.
Raw cannabis must contain a maximum of 35% of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Medical cannabis edibles, oils, and tinctures must have a maximum of 10 milligrams of delta-9 THC per serving.
Medical cannabis products that are not edibles, oils, and tinctures must have a maximum of 70% of delta-9 THC.
Medical cannabis products must not contain vitamin E acetate.
Persons below the age of 18 must not be allowed on cannabis business premises.
Only adults who are medical marijuana registry ID card holders must be allowed into cannabis business premises.
All licensed cannabis businesses must ensure accuracy in inventory control and recordkeeping.
Meanwhile, Senate Bill 186 calling for the legalization of adult-use marijuana for people aged 21 and older was introduced at the Senate committee level on February 17, 2022.
Cannabis manufacturing of any kind is not legal in Fayette County.
If HB 136 is passed, only licensed cannabis processor businesses will be allowed to manufacture medical cannabis. It will be mandatory for licensed cannabis processor businesses to implement the regulations for all medical cannabis businesses. The bill permits Kentucky counties, including Fayette, to create local ordinances disallowing all cannabis manufacturing businesses within their areas, though.
The bill does not allow the use of smoked medical marijuana, hence even licensed manufacturers will not be allowed to produce such products. They will only be permitted to manufacture medical cannabis products that are to be consumed, inhaled as a vapor, or topically applied.
Cannabis retail of any kind is not legal in Fayette County.
If HB 136 is passed, only licensed cannabis dispensary businesses will be allowed to sell medical cannabis and medical cannabis products. They will be required to comply with the regulations for all medical cannabis businesses. Counties such as Fayette are allowed by the bill, however, to ban through a local ordinance all cannabis dispensaries in their localities.
Licensed dispensaries will only be allowed to sell medical cannabis to patients who hold Kentucky medical marijuana cards, and to patients’ parents, legal guardians, or caregivers. Before the initial purchase, patients will be required to consult with a state-authorized pharmacist.
Licensed dispensaries will also be permitted to sell to patients who hold valid medical marijuana cards from other states but only if those cards are issued for medical conditions that are included in the qualifying medical conditions for Kentucky.
Patients will only be allowed to have a 30-day supply of their recommended dosage of medical cannabis at their residence or a 10-day supply outside their dwelling, based on their registry certification. They are only allowed to have more than these if the medical cannabis is in a sealed container.
Licensed dispensaries will be allowed to sell medical cannabis; medical cannabis products intended for consumption, vaporization, or topical application; medical cannabis accessories; and health information materials related to the use of medical cannabis. They will not be allowed to sell medical marijuana intended for smoking.
Each sale must be documented by the licensed dispensary in the medical marijuana registry, indicating the type and amount of medical cannabis sold, who it was sold to, and the date and time of the purchase.
Cannabis delivery of any kind is not legal in Fayette County.
If HB 136 is passed, only licensed cannabis dispensary businesses will be allowed to deliver medical cannabis; medical cannabis products meant for consumption, vaporization, or topical application; medicinal cannabis accessories; and health information materials related to the use of medical cannabis. These can only be delivered to the registered address of the patient in the medical marijuana registry.
A medical marijuana card is not available in Fayette County since the use of medical cannabis is not yet legalized in the state of Kentucky.
If HB 136 is passed, a patient must be diagnosed and certified by a state-authorized medical cannabis practitioner to have any of the qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana treatment in order to acquire a medical marijuana registry ID card from the Kentucky Department for Public Health. Patients with a disqualifying felony offense will not be issued a medical marijuana registry ID card.
The medical cannabis practitioner will include in the patient’s certification the recommended medical cannabis strain, product type, dosage, and frequency of use that would best provide therapeutic or palliative relief according to the medical condition.
Cannabis is not yet legalized in the state of Kentucky, hence, it has not yet had an impact on Fayette County.
If HB 136 is passed, medical cannabis will be exempted from the state sales tax and from the excise tax imposed on controlled substances. An excise tax will be imposed on some medical cannabis transfers, though. Counties such as Fayette will be allowed to impose a local fee on licensed cannabis businesses within their territories.
Any use of cannabis has not yet been legalized by the state of Kentucky. As a baseline for future comparison in case HB 136 is passed, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office reports on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer that in 2021, there were no arrests for drug abuse violations. There was one arrest for DUI.