Medical marijuana bill will not receive a vote in 2015

02/12/2015 06:10 PM

FRANKFORT — Trying to ensure the commonwealth takes the correct steps should it choose to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, addressed the House Health and Welfare Committee on Thursday to discuss how the state should consider legislation.

Stumbo is sponsoring House Bill 3 , which would permit use of medical cannabis. House Bill 3 proposed to only let trained doctors order the use of medical marijuana. No smoking would be allowed, which the same approach is taken by such other states as New York, Minnesota and Florida.

The legislation would also require that a Kentucky Pharmacist be on staff at all medical marijuana dispensaries.

Stumbo did not call for a vote on the bill but wanted to give committee members more time in the months ahead to find a way to move forward.

“If, in fact, we do this in the General Assembly, at some point in time, it’s not going to pass this session, that we have stringent safeguards in place to make sure that we aren’t going to flood the market with another product that might add to our addictive situation in Kentucky,” Stumbo said.

The medical conditions that would be covered under Stumbo’s bill include post-traumatic stress disorder, to help veterans ; and those addicted to drugs. The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published a study showing that states with medical marijuana saw a 25 percent reduction in opioid overdose rates.

Another section of the bill is an extension of last year’s law authorizing the study of CBD oil, which is derived from plants in the marijuana family. Since the passage of CBD, no reliable source of the oil has been found, negating its potential medical benefits.

House Bill 3 proposed to remedy that by regulating the growing of hemp and marijuana to provide a source for the oil.

With no timetable set for 2015, and a potential vote in future sessions Stumbo said the hearing “got the ball rolling.”

“And I think it’s rolling in the right direction now,” he said.


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