Frankfort, KY — PRESS RELEASE — On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee voted in favor (17-1) of a bill that would legalize medical cannabis for patients with debilitating medical conditions in Kentucky. HB 136 will now head to the House of Representatives for a full vote.
The sponsor of HB 136, Rep. Jason Nemes (R-Louisville), filed similar legislation in 2019 that was approved by the House Judiciary Committee in a 16-1 vote, but the House adjourned without taking action. Fifty-one of the state’s 100 representatives are listed as sponsors of HB 136.
A 2019 Kentucky Health Issues Poll showed that nine out of 10 Kentucky residents support legalizing cannabis for medical use. If enacted into law, Kentucky will join the 33 states (and Washington, D.C.) that have passed medical cannabis laws.
Gov. Andy Beshear was elected in November after supporting medical cannabis legislation on the campaign trail.
Matt Simon, legislative analyst at the Marijuana Policy Project, said, “Kentuckians have been waiting far too long for safe, legal access to cannabis for medical use. Patients and doctors in other states have learned through experience that cannabis is beneficial as an alternative to opioids and other prescription drugs. Passing HB 136 is a moral imperative for Kentuckians who are suffering with debilitating medical conditions. Patients are very grateful to Rep. Nemes for his leadership and to the committee for moving this important bill forward."