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Kentucky eyes new qualifying conditions for medical marijuana

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is calling for additional qualifying health conditions for the state’s upcoming medical marijuana program, which would expand the total addressable market for MMJ businesses.

The Democratic governor also announced new regulations for medical marijuana businesses and revealed that Kentucky has chosen cannabis software company Metrc to provide seed-to-sale tracking for the state’s MMJ businesses.

The Democratic governor said Kentucky’s “medical cannabis program is on schedule” during a Thursday news conference.

The medical cannabis law is set to take effect in 2025.

Beshear said his administration has filed 10 new regulations surrounding medical marijuana.

“They provide the framework for how medical cannabis businesses, including the cultivators, processors, producers, dispensaries and safety compliance facilities will operate in the Commonwealth,” he said.

In addition to choosing Metrc for seed-to-sale tracking, Kentucky has partnered with Tyler Technologies to develop a cannabis business licensing platform and a registry of patients and caregivers.

Beshear said two independent advisory boards recommended that Kentucky’s General Assembly expand the law with the following qualifying MMJ:

  • AIDS and HIV.
  • ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
  • Cachexia (wasting syndrome).
  • Crohn’s disease.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Hepatitis C (recommended by one board only).
  • Huntington’s disease.
  • Muscular dystrophy.
  • Neuropathies.
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Severe arthritis.
  • Sickle cell anemia.
  • Terminal illness.

“This is a crucial step,” the governor said.

“While the legislation referenced several qualifying conditions, it left others out.”

Expanding the list of qualifying conditions would make 437,000 more people eligible for medical marijuana in Kentucky, according to an estimate presented by Beshear.

The current list of qualifying conditions in Kentucky includes:

  • Cancer.
  • Chronic or debilitating pain.
  • Seizure disorders including epilepsy.
  • Multiple sclerosis or muscle spasticity.
  • Treatment-resistant nausea or vomiting.
  • PTSD.
  • Other approved conditions.

Beshear signed Kentucky’s MMJ legalization bill into law in March 2023.

Solomon Israel can be reached at

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