Lawmakers filing bills to legalize marijuana in Kentucky
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Democratic lawmakers unveiled new legislation Thursday morning to legalize marijuana in Kentucky.
“Our legislation is the comprehensive plan that Kentuckians deserve, and it builds on what’s worked in other states while avoiding their mistakes,” said Rep. Roberts of Newport. “This would be a boon for our economy and farmers alike, plus give state and local governments a major new source of revenue.”
The lawmakers said identical bills would be filed in the House and the Senate.
“It is past time to move on this,” said Sen. McGarvey of Louisville. “As 37 other states have realized the medical benefits with 18 of those reaping the economic benefits, Kentucky continues to fall behind in an area where we could be leading. It is 2022. It’s time we end the prohibition on cannabis in Kentucky.”
The legislation would erase misdemeanor convictions for thousands, saving millions in the criminal justice system. It would also fund substance use disorder treatment facilities, pay for providers throughout the state and create new state revenues.
“Our plan is both comprehensive and caring,” Rep. Rachel Roberts said. “It helps those who are sick; it gives a second chance to those who shouldn’t have been charged; and it would put Kentucky almost overnight at the epicenter of a multi-billion dollar business. We shouldn’t have to wait another year to reap these considerable benefits.”
If enacted, the legislation would create the Cannabis Control Board, which would be composed of seven members, none of whom could have a direct or indirect interest in a cannabis business.
The board would mirror the work of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, but in this case, establish and enforce regulations from seed to sale. Helping the board would be four advisory committees focused on medicinal and adult-use; cultivation; and social and economic equity.
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