Gov. Andy Beshear has announced the 17 members of the Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee, who will help him explore legalizing medical marijuana through executive action after the state legislature failed to push a bill through at this year’s session.
“Polling suggests 90% of Kentucky adults support legalizing medical cannabis, while at the same time, far too many in our state who could benefit from it are suffering. It is simply time that something more is done,” Beshear said in a statement. “I want to make sure every voice is heard as I am weighing executive action that could provide access to medical cannabis in the commonwealth.”
This news on June 14 comes after the governor announced in April that he would reach out to his general counsel and send an advisory team across the state to gather feedback as he weighed his options to legalize medical marijuana through executive action.
During the 2022 General Assembly earlier this year, a restrictive bill to legalize medical marijuana passed the House, but it failed to even receive a committee vote in the Senate. During the session, Republican leadership expressed skepticism about medical marijuana.
There are 38 states that currently have medical marijuana access.
According to a press release, the new committee will gather soon to schedule town hall meetings across the state.
A website has also launched — medicalcannabis.ky.gov — which has a portal to share, “Why is medical cannabis an important issue to you?”
Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Kerry Harvey and Secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet Ray Perry will serve as co-chairs.
The other 15 members are:
- Dr. Amber Cann of La Grange, pharmacy coach and adjunct professor at Spalding University;
- Julie Cantwell of Rineyville, advocate with Kentuckians for Medical Marijuana;
- Jennifer Cave of Louisville, member, Stites and Harbison;
- Eric Crawford of Maysville, advocate;
- Cookie Crews of Frankfort, commissioner of the Department of Corrections;
- Dr. John Farmer of Louisville, OB/GYN, medical director of Solid Ground Counseling and Recovery, addiction treatment provider in Louisville, Morehead and Hazard;
- Dr. Jonathan Hatton of Whitesburg, family medicine, Mountain Comprehensive Health;
- Brian Jointer of Jeffersonville, Indiana, certified public health worker in Louisville;
- Dr. Nick Kouns of Lexington, internal medicine, Clark Regional Medical Center;
- Alex Kreit of Cincinnati, Ohio, director of the Chase Center on Addiction Law and Policy at Northern Kentucky University;
- Dr. Linda McClain of Louisville, OB/GYN, Commonwealth Counseling Center;
- Andrew Sparks of Lexington, former assistant U.S. Attorney;
- Dee Dee Taylor of Louisville, chief executive officer, 502 Hemp Wellness Center;
- Julie Wallace of Morganfield, Union County Attorney; and
- Kristin Wilcox of Beaver Dam, co-founder of Kentucky Moms for Medical Cannabis.
A version of this story was originally published by CityBeat sister paper LEO Weekly.