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Marijuana legalization bills proposed in Kentucky, Minnesota

Posted On: Jan. 9, 2023 10:52 AM CST

medical marijuana

Lawmakers in Kentucky and Minnesota have introduced legislation that would legalize marijuana in their respective states. 

On Friday, Kentucky legislators unveiled Senate Bill 51, a dual-purpose measure that would make cannabis legal both medically and recreationally.

The Kentucky bill would legalize and regulate the “possession, cultivation, production, processing, packaging, transportation, testing, marketing, sale and use of medical cannabis and adult-use cannabis,” and it would create a Cannabis Control Board to act as the regulatory agency overseeing the state’s program.

The Kentucky measure also contains a provision that prohibits employers from refusing to hire or discriminating against those who use marijuana during nonworking hours if it becomes legal. 

Only adults 21 and older would be permitted to purchase and use cannabis under the bill.

The legislative proposal comes on the heels of an executive order issued in November by Gov. Andy Beshear, which took effect Jan. 1, that allows certain patients to use medical marijuana.

The order only allows the use of medical marijuana, but patients are not actually allowed to purchase the product in Kentucky.

In Minnesota, which legalized medical marijuana in 2014, lawmakers introduced Senate Bill 73, which would fully legalize marijuana for recreational use in the state and would create an Office of Cannabis Management to regulate the program.

The bill would allow those ages 21 and older to buy certain forms of marijuana from state dispensaries and to grow up to eight plants at home.

It would also prohibit employers from terminating, disciplining or discriminating against workers who test positive for marijuana.