After ten years of unsuccessful endeavors in the state legislature, the medical marijuana legalization bill in Kentucky finally achieved approval on Thursday, just a few hours before the 2023 session's conclusion.
On Friday morning, Governor Andy Beshear signed the bill into law in the presence of a bipartisan assembly of legislators and supporters, making Kentucky at least the 38th state to authorize the use of medical cannabis. The state's program will not be operational until the start of 2025.
Additionally, Beshear signed House Bill 551 into law during the event, legalizing sports betting. This bipartisan bill was approved by the Senate a mere 12 minutes after the House passed SB 47 on Thursday. Beshear highlighted that this demonstrated the capability of a Democratic governor and a GOP supermajority legislature to achieve difficult yet crucial objectives that the people of Kentucky genuinely desire.
Senate Bill 47 garnered the support of the House in a bipartisan 66-33 vote shortly after its passage in a House committee. The majority of Republicans and all but one Democrat voted in favor of legalizing and regulating the drug.
Billy Mosley, Lead Reporter for The Kentucky Daily