Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is assembling a team of advisors to explore the state’s potential future with medical cannabis.
On Tuesday, Governor Beshear announced the members of the Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee that will assist him in providing suffering Kentuckians with access to medical cannabis.
Additionally, Kentucky launched a website where people can learn about the Advisory Committee and submit feedback.
In March, the Kentucky House of Representatives voted 59-34 to pass HB 136, a medical cannabis legalization bill.
But despite HB 136 passing the House and having widespread public support, the Kentucky Senate shot the bill down.
“Polling suggests 90% of Kentucky adults support legalizing medical cannabis, while at the same time, far too many in our state who could benefit from it are suffering,” says Governor Beshear. “I want to make sure every voice is heard as I am weighing executive action that could provide access to medical cannabis in the commonwealth.”
According to a press release, Governor Beshear named 17 initial members of the Advisory Committee through an executive order.
Each member possesses experience in fields such as health care, law enforcement, criminal justice, medical cannabis advocacy, and addiction treatment.
The Office of the Governor says cannabis is underutilized as an opioid alternative, noting that Kentucky lawmakers have failed to act as 38 other states have enacted medical cannabis laws to help patients treat various conditions.
According to the Office of the Governor, the Advisory Committee will soon meet to schedule town hall meetings that it will hold throughout the Commonwealth.
The Office of the Governor says the meetings will provide the Advisory Committee with opportunities to gather feedback and discuss medical cannabis with residents, local leaders, health care providers, and advocacy groups.
Additional details like dates and times will be announced before the meetings.
The first members of the Advisory Committee include:
- Dr. Amber Cann of La Grange—Pharmacy coach and adjunct professor at Spalding University
- Julie Cantwell of Rineyville—Advocate with Kentuckians for Medical Marijuana
- Jennifer Cave of Louisville—Member: Stites and Harbison
- Eric Crawford of Maysville—Advocate
- Cookie Crews of Frankfort—Commissioner of the Department of Corrections
- Dr. John Farmer of Louisville—OB/GYN, medical director of Solid Ground Counseling and Recovery, addiction treatment provider in Louisville, Morehead, and Hazard
- Dr. Jonathan Hatton of Whitesburg—Family medicine, Mountain Comprehensive Health
- Brian Jointer of Jeffersonville, Indiana—Certified public health worker in Louisville
- Dr. Nick Kouns of Lexington—Internal medicine Clark Regional Medical Center
- Alex Kreit of Cincinnati, Ohio—Director of the Chase Center on Addiction Law and Policy at Northern Kentucky University
- Dr. Linda McClain of Louisville—OB/GYN, Commonwealth Counseling Center
- Andrew Sparks of Lexington—Former assistant U.S. Attorney
- Dee Dee Taylor of Louisville—Chief executive officer, 502 Hemp Wellness Center
- Julie Wallace of Morganfield—Union County Attorney
- Kristin Wilcox of Beaver Dam—Co-founder of Kentucky Moms for Medical Cannabis.
Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Kerry Harvey will co-chair the Advisory Committee with Secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet Ray Perry.