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Could 2022 be the year Kentucky legalizes medical marijuana?

medical marijuana

The Kentucky House of Representatives passed a bill legalizing medical marijuana in 2020, but it stalled in the Senate.

The Kentucky General Assembly convened for the first day of the 2022 legislative session Tuesday and legalizing medical marijuana in the Commonwealth is one issue that will likely be up for debate. 

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said he remains open to discussing the issue but personally has concerns about advancing legislation. 

Stivers said has seen studies about the therapeutic benefits of medicinal marijuana, but said the ones he’s seen have had small sample sizes or were conducted over a short period of time.


Gov. Beshear Talks Economic Success, Legalizing Marijuana, & Speculation of Presidential Run


Kentucky is ending 2021 on a high note. At least when it comes to the economy, according to Governor Andy Beshear.

The Bluegrass Governor told 44News, by the end of the year, new capital investments in the state will near $11 Billion. That is roughly double the annual investment Kentucky sees in a normal year.

That investment will create nearly 16,000 full-time jobs for Kentuckians and Western Kentucky will benefit from a portion of those new projects.

“When you look at two of our biggest jobs and/or investments across the Commonwealth, this year, there is Pratt Paper in Henderson,” Gov. Beshear told 44News Anchor Jessica Hartman. “I am so proud of this investment.”


Cornbread Hemp boasts big e-commerce growth during pandemic

men in hemp field

Since its launch in 2019, Cornbread Hemp has expanded its retail footprint to nearly 100 storefronts. But it's the CBD company's direct-to-consumer business that's fueling the majority of its 200% year-over-year sales growth. This time last year, Cornbread Hemp was closing a Wefunder campaign after raising nearly $400,000 from about 900 investors. That capital was used to expand the company's marketing efforts and staff, which has since grown from three to seven full-time employees at its new facility on Data Drive in Jeffersontown.


Delta-8 debate: Is it legal? Depends who you ask

hands holding marijuana

 Delta-8 is the latest trend to hit hemp shops across the country, including here in Kentucky. But the hemp-based product is not without controversy. The legality of Delta-8 might depend on who you ask.

What is Delta-8?

Delta-8 THC is a compound derived from hemp. In flower form, it looks like marijuana, but it's different than the Delta-9 THC compound in marijuana, which is what gives folks a "high."

Some users have reported much milder effects. Others have described euphoria.


Everything You Need To Know About Delta 8, The ‘Legal Weed,’ In Kentucky

Have you tried Delta 8?

It’s found in Louisville hemp shops. Your fave Instagram influencer is pushing it on their profile. Your friend offered you a hit off his vape last time you saw him.

It’s a “legal weed.” You don’t really understand what it is or how you’re able to use it in a state as anti-pot as Kentucky. But sure, you’ll try it. 

The answers behind what it is and its legality are more complicated than it may seem based on Delta 8’s ubiquitousness. 

But, let’s start with the basic facts. 


Kentucky Hemp Association Furious Over Delta-8 THC Raids

hemp field

The Kentucky Hemp Association (KYHA) has made its stance very clear regarding recent police raids on hemp stores in the state.

The KYHA alleges State Troopers last week raided two lawful hemp retail stores, looking for Delta-8 THC products.

While Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in cannabis, it is only present in very small quantities. But it can be created through the manipulation of cannabidiol (CBD) derived from hemp. The increasing popularity and availability of delta-8 is causing headaches for industry, lawmakers and law enforcement.

KYHA says the troopers seized “hemp products, money, cameras, terrorized the store owners and charged their employees with trafficking.”


Why some Ky. hemp growers say they're leaving money on the table

On a farm in southeastern Kentucky, inside a pristine greenhouse, you’ll find row after row of hemp, or "Cannabis sativa L.” 


It has a high level of cannabidiol, or CBD, and a very low level of the compound tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, this is the compound that makes people high. 

David Jaggers is the director of cultivation for Buffalo Skull Ranch Greenhouse, which started operating in March of 2020.

"Kentucky law allows for hemp to be grown up to 0.3% THC," he said. "After that, it’s considered marijuana and it gets destroyed." 

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture tests the hemp grown there, he said. 


States Move To Ban Delta-8 THC

An increasing number of states are banning Delta-8 THC as federal regulators verify its legality.

Delta-8 THC has become very popular, prompting more jurisdictions to restrict access to the commodity, which is often generated from hemp extracts.

Varying Responses

To limit market access, outright restrictions are being implemented and measures to prohibit the products are being considered.

According to U.S. Hemp Authority President Marielle Weintraub, states will continue to restrict Delta-8 THC and other products like it because the cannabinoid is classified as a restricted narcotic under federal law.


Before Kentucky legalizes, let’s weed through the inconsistencies of medical marijuana

In summer 2018, I was a fourth-year pharmacy student sifting through medication lists of my surgical patients at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital when I noticed a common theme on medication lists: CBD oil. It sparked my interest to research CBD vs. THC and the progression of legalizing marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes in different parts of the country. The overall findings were unsettling to me. However, I quickly moved on to the next rotation and put it in the back of my mind.

Policy changes ruled in favor of Kentucky's hemp growers



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