Kentucky’s full Senate, in a 38 to 0 vote, has approved Senate Bill 124, a proposal to legalize medical cannabis extracts under certain circumstances.
If approved into law, the proposal would allow universities in the state with a school of medicine to produce and distribute cannabis oil (that’s low in THC) to qualified patients who receive a recommendation from one of the university’s physicians; they could then conduct research on the safety and efficiency of the oil. The measure would also explicitly allow anyone enrolled in an FDA trial (two such trials were approved by the FDA last year) to be legally treated with cannabis oil.
“This was one of those tingly moments you get when you pass a bill that you really know is good for the commonwealth. It is really going to help people’s lives,” said Republican Representative Julie Denton, the bill’s primary sponsor.
Debbie McGrath, Executive Director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana, said she was “thrilled” with the vote.
The measure now heads to the House, where its passage would send it to the governor.
Late last month a House committee approved a separate medical cannabis proposal which would legalize the possession of up to 3 ounces of cannabis, and the private cultivation of up to 12 plants for qualified patients. Dispensaries would also be authorized under this bill. Its chances in the Senate remain uncertain.