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Ky Governor Signs Two Historic Bills

Medical Marijuana and Sports Betting are coming to Commonwealth


(Frankfort, Ky.) – Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed two historic pieces of legislation on Friday.

The commonwealth is now the 37th state to legalize a form of medical marijuana and the 38th state to legalize sports betting.

House Bill 551, which legalizes sports betting in Kentucky, will go into effect in late June.

Sports betting will generate an estimated revenue increase of $23 million a year upon full implementation that will be dedicated to the Kentucky permanent pension fund and 2.5 percent to the problem gambling assistance account.

“Now, after years of urging action, sports betting is legal in Kentucky. We finally did it! Today’s result shows that hard work pays off,” Gov. Beshear said. “Kentuckians will soon be able to place their bets here, and for the first time, we are going to keep those dollars here to support our economy and communities.”

Governor Beshear also signed Senate Bill 47, which legalizes medical cannabis in Kentucky.

The bill establishes a structure to regulate the medical cannabis program, including dispensaries, cultivators, practitioners, processors and products and issuing identification cards to patients and caregivers.

In addition, the bill establishes the authorization process for practitioners to recommend the use of medicinal cannabis and establishes the cannabis business license application process and requirements.

“In November, I signed an executive order to help Kentuckians with certain medical conditions, like our veterans suffering from PTSD, find safe and effective relief through medical cannabis,” Gov. Beshear said. “Now, I am finally able to sign this legislation into law and fully legalize medical cannabis – something the majority of Kentuckians support.”

Beshear’s executive order will remain in effect until Senate Bill 47 takes effect January 1, 2025. The order provides access to medical cannabis for Kentuckians who suffer from at least one of 21 medical conditions including cancer, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, muscular dystrophy and terminal illness.

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