Medical marijuana bill discussed in House committee but no vote taken

03/05/2018 06:02 PM

FRANKFORT – Kentuckians with certain medical conditions could be prescribed medical cannabis for their condition if a House bill becomes law. But a committee hearing Monday on the subject ended with no vote taken.

House Bill 166, sponsored by Rep. John Sims, D-Flemingsburg, would restrict medical cannabis to certain patients with qualifying debilitating conditions: establish requirements for cultivation, production, processing, distribution, and sale in compassion centers where the patients would go to receive their cannabis.

In addition, medical cannabis, in no circumstances, could be smoked by patients who do not qualify to receive it.

Sims reiterated that the use of medical cannabis is about creating better health outcomes.

“This is about patients who have exhausted all of their options and resources, and are begging us to pull our heads from the sand to help,” Sims said. “Kentucky has a medical refugee crisis on its hands. As we speak, there are people in our district who have uprooted from their families and places of work to live in RV’s or tiny apartments in medically legal cannabis states so they can have this critical healthcare option.”

Sims said that the legislation is designed to do three major things.

“It will create jobs that will infuse revenue to our state, it will help with the opioid crisis like no other program can, it will stop injustice of a mother, who has to break a current law, to stop her daughter’s seizures,” Sims said.

Jaime Montalvo, an advocate with Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana, attempted to clear up some misconceptions about the legislation.

“House Bill 166 is not about the legalization of marijuana, house Bill 166 is not about a party, it’s not about having fun, this is about sick patients, qualifying patients, having safe access to a plant created by our creator,” Montalvo said.

Committee chair, Rep. Joe Fischer, R-Ft. Thomas, indicated that another meeting will be held on Tuesday after adjournment when more testimony will be heard and a vote will be taken.


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