Kentucky’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee to seek public input at town hall meetings

Mark Payne
Mark Payne
Mark Payne is the government and politics reporter for LINK nky. Email him at [email protected]

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Kentucky’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee met for the first time Monday. The meeting detailed the members of the committee, the agenda, and the town-hall-style meetings the committee plans to conduct across the Commonwealth. 

“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,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in a statement last week after suggesting he would take some type of executive order in April when the legislature failed to act on medical marijuana. 

The committee is chaired by Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Kerry Harvey and Secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet Ray Perry. 

“The main purpose of this is … we’re seeking public input through a series of town hall visits, and we’ve also created a website,” Perry said.

“As of this morning, the website, which went live last Friday, has 738 comments,” Perry said. “Seven-hundred and twenty-eight are in support of this.” 

The committee includes members with relevant experience regarding drug use, including opioid use disorder and addiction. He also chose those familiar with advocating for medical marijuana, along with law enforcement and those in the field of criminal justice. 

“This is not about recreational [marijuana],” Perry said, noting that medical and recreational cannabis issues are separate. “What this is about is exploring whether there is a safe and effective way to alleviate the suffering of a lot of our fellow citizens.”

One of the committee members is Northern Kentucky University law professor Alex Kreit, who created the Chase Center on Addiction Law & Policy in 2020 at the Chase College of Law. He is an expert on illegal drugs and marijuana law and was on the San Diego Medical Marijuana Task Force.  

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“I’m honored to have been appointed to the committee, and I look forward to serving on it,” Kreit said to LINK nky last week. 

Each committee member introduced themselves before the committee chairs detailed the first two meetings. There will be four town-hall-style meetings around the state, with one each in the north, south, east, and west. 

The first is scheduled for July 6 at the University of Pikeville in eastern Kentucky. The second is July 19 at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in Frankfort. The other meetings will be scheduled at a later date. 

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