Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program (2024) Guide

  1. Kentucky Cannabis
  2. Kentucky Medical Marijuana Card
  3. Kentucky Medical Marijuana Program

Apply For Kentucky Medical Marijuana Card Online

What is the Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program?

The Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program will not take effect until January 2025. Medical cannabis only recently became legal in the state after Governor Beshear signed Senate Bill 47 into law in March 2023. Sections 1 to 30 of Senate Bill 47 (SB 47) established the Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program and tasked the Cabinet for Health and Family Service to implement, regulate, and manage it. Under this program, patients with qualifying debilitating conditions will be able to access medical marijuana products legally and designate caregivers. Also, qualifying cannabis patients and caregivers will be required to obtain registry identification cards (medical marijuana cards) once the program officially kicks off.

How Old to Join Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program?

To join the Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program, a person must be at least 18 years old with certain debilitating conditions. Qualifying patients who are minors can also apply to the program but need the written consent of designated caregivers, who must be their parents or legal guardians. Under SB 47, caregivers must be at least 21 years old and obtain registry identification cards.

Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program Qualifying Conditions in 2024

  • Epilepsy or any other seizure disorder
  • Cancer of any type or form, regardless of state
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Multiple sclerosis, spasticity, or muscle spasms
  • Severe, chronic, debilitating, or intractable pain
  • Chronic nausea or vomiting that has defied other conventional treatments
  • Any other medical condition or ailment in KRS 164.983 or its successor approved by the Kentucky Center for Cannabis

What Practitioners are Eligible to Recommend the Use of Medical Cannabis?

  • Medical Doctors (MDs)
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs)
  • Doctors of Osteopathy (DOs)

Must a Practitioner Obtain a License Before Issuing a Medical Card Recommendation?

To certify qualifying cannabis patients for medical cannabis cards in Kentucky, a healthcare practitioner must be licensed by the state and approved to prescribe controlled substances. DOs and MDs must apply to the Kentucky State Board of Medical Licensure for authorization to issue written certifications for medical cannabis, while APRNs must apply to the Commonwealth's Board of Nursing.

Do Physicians Need to Manage Patients Before Recommending Them for the Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program?

Yes. Section 9(4)(a) of SB 47 requires a medical practitioner to have established a bona fide patient-practitioner relationship with a patient before certifying them for the Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program.

Do Physicians Have to Join the State’s Medical Marijuana Program/Registry to Recommend Medical Marijuana to Patients?

No. Licensed medical practitioners who are authorized to certify patients for medical cannabis use are not required to enroll in the Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program.

Can a Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program Practitioner Use Telemedicine for Patient Assessment?

Kentucky requires in-person assessments of qualifying cannabis patients by healthcare practitioners before issuing initial written certifications for medical cannabis use. However, subsequent written certifications can be given via telemedicine consultations once patient-practitioner relationships have been established.

How to Find Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program Doctors

Kentucky does not have a list of medical practitioners who can certify qualifying patients for medical cannabis treatments. However, the Cabinet for Health and Family Service may maintain one once the Commonwealth's Medical Cannabis Program officially starts by January 2025.

How to Apply for the Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program

  • Fix an appointment with a licensed medical practitioner for an in-person medical examination
  • If the medical provider finds the patient eligible for cannabis treatment, they will issue a written certification for the use of medical marijuana
  • After obtaining a physician's written certification, the patient can apply for a registry identification card
  • The application will be reviewed, and the patient's registry identification card will be made available to them
  • Note that the Cannabis for Health and Family Services is currently working on establishing administrative regulations on how to get a Kentucky Medical Medical Marijuana Card. These regulations will be made public before the Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program launches by January 2025
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