Medical cannabis facilities progressing in several Ky. communities

Published 4:12 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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The move to allow medical cannabis facilities is progressing in three Kentucky communities.

This week, Elizabethtown’s city council unanimously agreed to an ordinance to allow the facilities. That action came after the council considered an ordinance to deny medical marijuana businesses in the city limits, according to a report in the Elizabethtown News-Enterprise.

In nearby Radcliffe, the city council has started the process of preparing for potential medical cannabis in the city limits.

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In a work session Monday, the council saw a draft ordinance that would approve the operation of medical cannabis facilities. City Attorney Michael Pike said the ordinance is “just to open the door.”

A New-Enterprise story said Radcliff could potentially be a location for one of several types of facilities, such as a cultivator, dispensary, processor, producer or safety compliance facility.

Also, in western Kentucky, the Mayfield city council unanimously approved first reading of an ordinance Monday that amends zoning regulations to allow for the cultivation, dispensing, processing, production, sale and advertising of medical cannabis in city limits. Second reading of the ordinance is slated for August.

In eastern Kentucky, Ashland city commissioners voted to take initial steps to make space for medicinal cannabis businesses within city limits on June 24, The Daily Independent reported.

City planner Katherine Utsinger said medicinal use and businesses licensed to sell cannabis products are already heavily restricted on the state level. The state mandates a medical card given by licensed practitioners to patients meeting specific qualifications.

Examples of people who may medically qualify for cannabis usage are those with chronic or severe pain, epilepsy, any type or forms of cancer, chronic nausea and post-traumatic stress disorder — again determined and diagnosed by a licensed physician.

Utsinger said cities had the option to opt out of the state’s legalization by putting resolutions in place before the effective date to prohibit medicinal cannabis businesses within the cities’ zoning.

Ashland appears to be pursuing the possibility of redefining existing zoning ordinances to allow and regulate the time, place and manner of operations at cannabis-based businesses.

Senate Bill 47, which legalized medicinal cannabis use in the state, takes effect Jan 1, 2025.