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Months after launching medical marijuana inquiry, Gov. Beshear unveils 'measured step' on the issue

Marijuana plants in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren
Marijuana plants in Seattle.

Gov. Andy Beshear has announced some limited executive actions to loosen restrictions on medical marijuana in Kentucky.

The first order permits people with eligible conditions to possess certain amounts of medical marijuana legally purchased in another state.

Among the requirements — the cannabis must be lawfully purchased and the receipt kept, the amount cannot exceed 8 ounces, and individuals must have certification showing they have been diagnosed with at least one of 21 medical conditions.

To read the full list of conditions, see the executive order.

A second executive order deals with the regulation of the sale of Delta 8, a substance that contains THC at lower levels.

Beshear said he realizes the actions are limited in scope, but that it’s time to make some moves in the directions surrounding states are going.

"I'm sure that there are some that will say our actions don't go far enough, or maybe they go too far. What we're trying to do is take a measured step to help those that are struggling while ensuring they can purchase from a safe and reliable place, and ultimately nobody should feel like a criminal when they can legally purchase in one of our neighboring states and use it in another."
Gov. Andy Beshear

37 states already have some form of legalized medical or recreational cannabis.

Retired Air Force Veteran Jared Bonvell told reporters the effect he’s seen on his own life, which he once saw rapidly declining, has been “astounding.”

"I know veterans that have gotten off of heroin, meth, and drug you can think of, and have turned their lives around with the responsible use of medical cannabis," Bonvell said. "To me, it's a wonder drug. I don't even call it a drug. It's a plant. So thank you governor, for making a difference."

As for future actions or legal challenges to the governor's executive orders, only time will tell.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.