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The State of Medical Marijuana in Kentucky: What’s Legal and What’s Not?

March 15, 2023

If you’re looking for where to get your medical cannabis card in Kentucky, you should know that there isn’t such a thing. But there has been some movement in that direction.

With so many states legalizing marijuana for both medical and recreational use, where does Kentucky currently stand? Currently, the Hemp State has not legalized cannabis. While there have been multiple attempts to pass legislation to allow medical marijuana in KY, it seems to fail every time.

Maybe you’ve heard that an executive order signed by Governor Beshear in 2022 (E.O. 2022-798) legalized medical marijuana for Kentuckians starting on January 1, 2023. While he did sign an executive order related to cannabis—you need to know that it does NOT legalize marijuana for medical use in Kentucky.

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Kentucky?

No, marijuana is not legal in Kentucky. It is still illegal to possess, use, grow, buy, or sell marijuana in Kentucky. There is not currently a medical marijuana program. The commonwealth does not take applications for medical marijuana cards. In fact, there is no such thing as KY medical cannabis cards, so don’t get scammed into believing that you’re paying for a legitimate card online!

So, if cannabis medical cards are not a thing and marijuana is still illegal in Kentucky, then what’s this executive order all about? Read on to find out.

What Does Executive Order 2022-798 Say

Governor Beshear’s Executive Order 2022-798 allows a conditional preemptive pardon for possession for patients who meet certain criteria in Kentucky. Rather than legalizing marijuana or providing a way to access it, the executive order cancels legal consequences for certain Kentuckians who legally purchase cannabis from other states outside of Kentucky. It went into effect at the beginning of this year (2023).

The governor’s executive order is a temporary solution and he is still pushing forward with measures to encourage legislative adoption to legalize medical cannabis. Part of this endeavor included the creation of Team Kentucky Cannabis Advisory Committee, a panel made up of experts in healthcare, substance abuse, law enforcement, criminal justice, and advocates.

How to Meet the Requirements for a Cannabis Pardon in Kentucky

The executive order lays out specific conditions that must be met in order to receive the Governor’s pardon.

This includes the following rules:

  1. You must not purchase marijuana in Kentucky.
  2. You must legally purchase marijuana in a US state that allows non-resident purchases.
  3. You must retain detailed and original receipts of your purchases.
  4. You must not possess more than 8 ounces of marijuana.
  5. You must have written certification from a physician licensed in Kentucky.
  6. You must have a qualifying medical condition listed in the order.

If you meet these criteria, the pardon applies to criminal offenses of possession of marijuana under KRS 218A.1422, which currently lists possession as a Class B misdemeanor.

Which Conditions Qualify You For the Possession Pardon?

  • Cancer
  • ALS
  • Lou Gerig’s Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Intractable Seizures
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Severe and Chronic Pain
  • PTSD
  • Cachexia
  • Neuropathies
  • Severe Arthritis
  • Hepatitis C
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Intractable Pain
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Glaucoma
  • Terminal Illness

How to Get a Physician Certification in Kentucky for Medical Cannabis

Although there is no such thing as a Kentucky medical marijuana card, the governor’s executive order does require that qualifying patients have a physician certification written document in order to meet the pardon requirements for possessing cannabis.

This document is written and signed by your Kentucky-licensed doctor, with whom you have a bona fide physician-patient relationship. The certification statement must include basic information, such as:

  • Patient’s name, DOB, and Contact information
  • Doctor’s contact information and license number
  • Statement of a physician-patient relationship
  • Confirmation of one of the qualifying medical conditions

While you don’t need a special doctor to issue this statement, there may be reasons you’re seeking a physician certification online. My Virtual Physician can help. We are physician-founded and our doctors are proud to offer specialist visits for our patients, whether you need help managing your chronic condition or are simply looking for the physician certification.

Take Action Now

In the event that you’re looking to establish a bona fide relationship with our doctors in order to get your physician certification for medical marijuana in Kentucky, please reach out to us so we can help get you the documents you need. Fill out an intake form Today!.*

*Note: Kentucky requires an established bona fide patient-relationship which may require multiple online visits to obtain physician certification for your condition.

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