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The Kentucky Department of Medical Marijuana (DMM) is responsible for regulating and licensing medical cannabis businesses in the state. Kentucky has the opportunity to generate substantial tax revenue by regulating the legal sale and distribution of marijuana. The state could potentially earn tens of millions of dollars in taxes without increasing tax rates. This revenue could be utilized to fund public services and infrastructure projects such as education, pensions, and road construction.

Kentucky provides licenses for a range of medical cannabis ventures, which includes dispensaries, cannabis processors, cannabis producers (with both cultivator and processor licenses), cannabis safety compliance facilities (testing labs), and cannabis cultivators grouped into four tiers based on the size of the cultivation area. There is no cap on the number of licenses offered for any of these business categories.

The applications for cannabis licenses are not currently available at this time. As of now, the licensing fees for opening a dispensary in Kentucky are yet to be determined by the state authorities. It’s unclear how much it will cost to obtain a license to operate a medical cannabis dispensary in the state.

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Kentucky has not yet legalized cannabis for recreational use. However, in 2014, the state passed a law allowing the use of low-THC cannabis oil for medical purposes. Under this law, patients with certain qualifying medical conditions can use cannabis oil that contains less than 0.3% THC to treat their symptoms.

In 2017, the state passed a law allowing for the cultivation and production of industrial hemp, which contains low levels of THC and is used for a variety of purposes including fiber, fuel, and CBD extraction.

On March 31, 2023, the Governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear, signed a medical cannabis bill into law, making Kentucky the 38th state to have a comprehensive medical cannabis law. This marks a significant development in Kentucky’s approach to cannabis legislation, especially considering the failure of similar bills in the past due to opposition from groups such as the National Marijuana Initiative and the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

Regulations are due by July 1, 2024, and the law will take effect on January 1, 2025. Cannabis in Kentucky is illegal for recreational use. The push for medical marijuana may ultimately pave the way for the legalization of recreational marijuana.

LAST UPDATED 5/10/2023 – It’s important to remember that laws can be revised and updated frequently, so please keep this in mind.