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Kentucky Cannabis Business License Applications Now Open – The Advocate-Messenger

Kentucky Cannabis Business License Applications Now Open – The Advocate-Messenger

Applications for Kentucky Cannabis Business Licenses Are Now Open

Published 4:15 PM Monday, July 1, 2024

By Sarah Ladd

Kentucky Lantern

Kentucky residents can now apply for a cannabis business license, and medical providers can apply to the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure and the Board of Nursing for permission to write cannabis prescriptions.

This is thanks to a bipartisan Bill 829 that was enacted during this year’s legislative session, which moved the timeline for medical cannabis from January 2025 to July 1, 2024.

In 2023, the Legislature legalized medical marijuana for Kentucky residents suffering from chronic illnesses.

Eligible patients — with a history of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), cancer or other approved medical conditions — will still be unable to apply for cannabis cards until Jan. 1.

Applications will remain open until August 31. There are a limited number of licenses that the state will distribute to growers and dispensers, and winners will be chosen in a lottery system. Kentucky will award 48 licenses to dispensaries in 11 regions across the state, 10 to processors and 16 to growers.

Lottery winners are expected to be announced in October, Gov. Andy Beshear said earlier. Filling out applications through the lottery, Beshear said in April, is a way to keep the process more fair.

“It creates a fairer process,” he said. “Not a process where people are bidding against each other and only then can the big companies be a part of it.”

Applicants must pay an application fee and provide documentation including company history, operational plans and financial information.

“The program is focused on ensuring that the licensing process for cannabis businesses is fair, transparent and customer-focused,” Sam Flynn, executive director of the Kentucky Office of Medical Cannabis, said in a statement.

Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Middletown, the lead sponsor of HB 829, said the new timeline “is the culmination of a long effort to provide for the safe use of medical marijuana to bring relief to Kentuckians suffering from pain and illness.”

“We take the regulatory process seriously,” Nemes said, “and look forward to seeing it move forward.”