Learn More the Latest News About Kentucky House Approves Medical Marijuana and South Carolina Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill

In today’s marijuana health news, learn more about advocates for medical marijuana earned a long-sought win when Kentucky lawmakers approved a bill to legalize medical marijuana for patients with a specified list of debilitating conditions. Meanwhile, South Carolina legislators and campaigners are not yet abandoning efforts for medical marijuana legalization.

Kentucky House Approves Medical Marijuana Measure

Original Source: Kentucky House gives final passage to medical marijuana bill

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP)— On Thursday, Kentucky lawmakers approved a plan to legalize medical cannabis for those with a defined list of debilitating conditions.

In the last hours of the legislative session, the Republican-dominated House voted 66-33 to send the proposal to Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear. “Thankful this step has been made,” the governor stated, signing the law.

After years of setbacks, supporters pushed the law across the finish line. Medicinal cannabis is permitted in 37 states.

“This is a very historic day here in the commonwealth and one that many people deserve — especially the constituents who’ve approached me over the years to share their stories,” Republican Sen. Stephen West, the Kentucky bill’s lead sponsor, said after the House vote.

The bill requires qualifying Kentuckians to wait for medical cannabis. To give state health officials time to write regulations, Senate Bill 47 delays the medical marijuana program until 2025.

The governor took executive action last year to loosen the state’s medical cannabis ban, but he has stressed it’s no alternative for legalization, which needs legislative approval. Kentuckians with severe health issues can lawfully possess tiny amounts of medical marijuana obtained in another state thanks to Beshear’s move.

Cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, epilepsy, persistent nausea, and post-traumatic stress disorder might be treated with medical cannabis under the measure headed to the governor. Smokable cannabis products are banned by the bill.

Longtime medical marijuana advocate Eric Crawford told a House committee that backed the bill earlier Thursday, “We need your help to make us safer, so we don’t have to consume all these medicines and opioids.” “Avoid criminality for us. For sick individuals, legalize this.”

Crawford has spoken about using medical marijuana instead of narcotics to treat pain and muscle spasms from a decades-old car incident.

He told lawmakers in March that cannabis aids him. “I know what’s best for me.” High isn’t for me. I want to feel better.”

The law requires approval for a card authorizing its use. Without a caregiver, a minor couldn’t get medical cannabis.

In mid-March, the Senate passed the bill, which had failed before. Republicans control both chambers.

Even when the House was about to pass the bill, opponents persisted.

The Family Foundation’s Michael Johnson told the House committee on Thursday that he’s “really sensitive” to chronic pain sufferers. “Insufficient scientific evidence that marijuana is safe and useful as a medication,” he said.

Johnson cautioned that the measure will allow people to obtain “raw plant material,” which is “extremely likely to be smoked, regardless of what the packaging says.”

During the House discussion, bill opponents made similar concerns.

Sometimes we offer people what they desire, not what they need. “This is one of those moments,” said Republican Rep. Shane Baker.

Opponents’ assertions that the bill lacks enforcement were refuted by a key proponent.

“You will lose your card if you get caught smoking it, and you will go to jail, as you ought to,” said Republican Rep. Jason Nemes. It’s not a medical program. It’s medical.”

At next year’s legislative session, the bill’s main supporters were open to changes. They said it included allowing school systems to bar employees, including nurses, from giving pupils medical marijuana.

“This is a big, intricate bill that’s been hammered out over a five-year period,” West told the House panel. “Next year, there will be technical changes.”

The bill passed a few hours later, and supporters celebrated.

West remarked, “It took a lot of time, deliberation, and argument spanning many years, but we accomplished it.”

South Carolina Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill Last-ditch Effort

Original Source: South Carolina Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill’s Fate In Question, But Supporters Are Making A Last-Ditch Push

South Carolina politicians and supporters want leadership to take up a GOP-led reform measure before a key legislative deadline to legalize medical marijuana.

On Tuesday, backers of Sen. Tom Davis (Rlegislation )’s underlined the necessity of having the change approved this year, with a deadline of April 10 to send the bill out of the Senate and to the House for consideration.

Last week, Davis passionately disputed members’ claims that the bill was not sufficiently reviewed to be placed on special order.

He noted that the S.C. Compassionate Care Act had been discussed in more than a dozen subcommittees for eight years.

Last month, the Senate Medical Affairs Committee approved the bill, and an earlier version passed the Senate last session but stalled in the House due to a procedural error.

Despite the sponsor’s comments, a move before the crossover deadline could resurrect the bill.

“This isn’t it.” At a press conference with supporters on Tuesday, Sen. Penry Gustafson (R) said, “We hope to continue to strive to pass this law for the people of South Carolina.” “Please be patient. “I think it’ll get through.”

Joe Bustos (R) also supported progress.

“I encourage our leadership to tackle this bill,” he said. “Get it passed and let’s move on.”

Time is running out to salvage the measure, according to Sen. Mike Fanning (D).

At a press conference with military veterans and medical professionals, he said, “If the Senate doesn’t take action on this bill in 77 hours, it’s dead for the year.”

If the Senate doesn’t adopt the proposal by the crossover deadline, it might pass later in the year but wouldn’t be eligible for House consideration until 2024.

On Tuesday, Davis tweeted that the bill is “treading water” and that he will “keep attempting to remove the hurdles to allowing it swim.”

The law would allow qualifying patients to buy cannabis from licensed dispensaries with a doctor’s recommendation.

The proposal’s primary provisions:

Cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, PTSD, Crohn’s disease, autism, a terminal illness with a prognosis of less than a year, and a chronic illness where opioids are the standard of care are among the “debilitating medical illnesses” for which patients may acquire a medical cannabis recommendation.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and Board of Pharmacy would license cannabis enterprises, including dispensaries that must have a pharmacist on site at all times.

The measure has been amended to require regulators to limit the number of enterprises a person or entity can own more than five percent of at the state and regional level to prevent excessive market consolidation.

A “Medical Cannabis Advisory Board” would add or remove qualifying conditions for the program. The governor and legislative leaders now appoint the board.

The measure does not tax medical cannabis sales, unlike the previous version. According to South Carolina procedural constraints, the House rejected the prior bill because it contained tax elements.

Marijuana smoking and personal cultivation would be illegal.

Physicians may select the amount of cannabis a patient could buy in a 14-day period, or they might propose the default norm of 1,600 milligrams of THC for edibles, 8,200 for oils for vaporization, and 4,000 for lotions.

Each serving of edibles couldn’t exceed 10 milligrams of THC.

Health warnings would be included in packaging and labeling. Packaging couldn’t appeal to children.

Medical marijuana and cannabis cards are not available to public safety, commercial transportation, or commercial machinery workers. That includes law police, pilots, and commercial drivers.

Municipal governments could ban marijuana companies or limit the number and hours of operation. To avoid overconcentration of such firms in a state, DHEC must act.

Unless they recuse themselves from voting on the reform legislation, lawmakers and their immediate family members cannot work for or invest in the marijuana sector until July 2029.

The DHEC would have to report on the medical cannabis program annually, including the number of registered patients, the diseases they have, the items they buy, and how independent firms serve patients compared to vertically integrated companies.

78 percent of South Carolina adults, including a majority of Republicans, want medical cannabis authorized, according to a November poll. Recreational legalization was supported by 54% more.

In last year’s South Carolina gubernatorial contest, incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster (R) defeated former Democratic congressman Joe Cunningham.

McMaster campaigned against Cunningham in part because of his support for marijuana legalization.

Cunningham was defeated in his 2020 congressional campaign by now-Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), who ardently favors cannabis legalization and introduced a measure to remove prohibition in 2021.

In a November interview with Marijuana Moment, Mace said “it’s time for our state and move forward” with medical marijuana legalization and that the “great majority of South Carolinians” support it.

South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Drew McKissick opposed Cunningham’s plan to legalize cannabis for medical and recreational use, calling it “playing with fire.” Davis defended Cunningham in 2021.

“An intellectually lazy approach that doesn’t even bother to explain medical facts as they currently exist,” Davis said of his party’s medical cannabis policy.

Although Davis’s Senate-passed medical cannabis bill was blocked in a House committee, he sought another route for reform, but it failed procedurally.

Summary of Today’s Marijuana Health News

Overall, when lawmakers in Kentucky finally passed a bill to allow medical cannabis for those with a specific list of debilitating conditions, supporters for medical marijuana scored a long-sought triumph. The Republican-controlled House voted 66-33 in the session’s final hours to send the bill to Democratic Governor Andy Beshear. As expected, the governor soon answered that he would sign the law because he was “thankful this progress has been made.”

Finally, South Carolina legislators and supporters of legalizing medical marijuana have not given up the fight and are urging leadership to take up a Republican-led reform plan before a crucial legislative deadline. Supporters of the measure from Sen. Tom Davis (R) held a press conference on Tuesday, emphasizing the need to have the reform approved this year before the April 10 deadline to get the bill out of the Senate and on to the House for consideration before the end of the current legislative session.

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