With a vote of 59 to 34, members of the Kentucky House of Representatives have advanced House Bill 136 to the Senate for further consideration. The bill provides for the production and distribution of a limited variety of medical cannabis products to qualified patients, including those with PTSD, cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy or any other intractable seizure disorder; multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, or spasticity; and nausea or vomiting.
“I am extremely happy to see forward movement on cannabis reform,” said Lauren Morgan Bratcher, Deputy Director of Kentucky NORML. “However, because it is among the most restrictive medical marijuana bills in the country, that means that HB 136 will only help a small fraction of Kentuckians.”
She added: “Now that the issue of medical marijuana will go to the Kentucky State Senate for the second time, it is our continued hope that Kentucky’s Senators will let our state out of the darkness and into the future. We will continue to fight alongside our fellow marijuana advocacy groups to secure safe, and more inclusive access for ALL of Kentucky’s patients.”
Matthew Bratcher, Executive Director of Kentucky NORML said: “It is a great day for cannabis reform in Kentucky and for all the people who have worked so hard to see it come this far.. While the bill has several provisions that keep it from being a patient-centric program, it is nonetheless important for the health and safety of our citizens that this bill be passed in the Senate absent any more amendments that would further limit patients’ access..”
Kristen Wilcox, a mother of a 13-year-old child with Dravet Syndrome, said: “While we are grateful for the efforts of our dedicated sponsors and for the passage of House Bill 136 in the house chamber today. We must remain steadfast in our efforts toward the senate. Time is short and the misinformation campaigns working against us are out in full force. Persistence is vital to this movement. Stay focused.”
The next step in the process is a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Whitney Westerfield of Christian County. No hearing date has been scheduled at this time.