FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK)—Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced on Tuesday that, starting in 2023, those in the state with certain severe medical conditions will be able to possess and use small amounts of medical cannabis.

Beshear said that Kentuckians with at least one of 21 medical conditions which include cancer, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, muscular dystrophy, or a terminal illness, will be able to legally purchase medical cannabis starting Jan. 1, 2023.

“Kentuckians suffering from chronic and terminal conditions are going to be able to get the treatment they need without living in fear of a misdemeanor,” Gov. Beshear said. “With 37 states already legalizing medical cannabis and 90% of Kentucky adults supporting it, I am doing what I can to provide access and relief to those who meet certain conditions and need it to better enjoy their life, without pain.”

The following conditions apply:

  1. Cannabis must be bought in the United States of America in a state where the purchase is legal and regulated. Kentuckians will need to keep their receipt.
  2. The amount a person can purchase and possess at any one time must not exceed 8 ounces, which is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony in Kentucky.
  3. Each Kentuckian must also have a certification from a licensed healthcare provider that shows that the individual has been diagnosed with at least one of 21 medical conditions. A copy of the certification must be retained.

Beshear said that the move is in an effort to reduce Kentuckians’ reliance on opioids and to provide an alternative form of pain relief.

He also announced that the commonwealth will begin to regulate the sale of Delta 8, a substance that contains a lower level of THC than marijuana.

“Right now, there are no checks on how it is packaged and sold. We must establish a regulatory structure to ensure that Delta 8 is sold and purchased safely in the commonwealth,” Gov. Beshear said. “The structure can and will also serve as a template for when the General Assembly fully legalizes medical cannabis. That means we can learn in real-time, train our people and be ready to go.”