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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.