Kentucky bill legalizing medical marijuana signed into law

After a decade of failed attempts in the state legislature, a bill to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky received final passage Thursday just hours before the adjournment of the 2023 session.

Gov. Andy Beshear signed it into law Friday morning before a bipartisan crowd of legislators and advocates, making Kentucky at least the 38th state to legalize medical cannabis.

The actual implementation of the state program will not go into effect until the beginning of 2025.

Beshear also signed into law House Bill 551 at the ceremony to legalize sports betting — another bipartisan bill that passed the Senate just 12 minutes after the House passed SB 47 Thursday — saying it showed that a Democratic governor and GOP supermajority legislature can still “get those tough things, important things that Kentuckians really want done.”

Gov. Andy Beshear signed a bill into law that makes Medical Marijuana legal in Kentucky. He would later sign and make legal Sports Betting.
March 31, 2023

Senate Bill 47 passed the House by a bipartisan 66-33 vote shortly after it cleared a House committee, with most Republicans and all but one Democrat voting to legalize and regulate the drug.

The passage was a celebration for those who had pushed for legalization in Frankfort over the past decade, coming very close in recent years.