FRANKFORT, Ky. — The newly-formed Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee had its first meeting Monday.
It’s made up of state officials, people working in recovery, medicine and criminal justice, and supporters of medical marijuana.
What You Need To Know
- The Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee met for the first time
- Gov. Andy Beshear named 17 people to the team earlier this month
- The panel will hold town hall meetings across the state to gather public input on the issue
- The public can provide comments on a new website
"This is not about partisan politics," said Kerry Harvey, Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. "This again, quite simply put, is about finding information that will assist our governor in making decisions that might lead to the alleviation of a lot of pain and suffering on the part of our fellow citizens."
A new website was launched last week to get feedback from the public on the issue.
Leaders say the site has already received more than 700 comments, with all but ten of them in support of medical cannabis.
“There’s a diversity of opinion on this, like there is everything," said Harvey. "Everyone who wishes to express an opinion will have the chance, and everyone who expresses an opinion will be treated respectfully."
A bill to legalize medical marijuana cleared the Kentucky House this year, but never moved forward.
Senate Republicans said they want more research on the matter, while Gov. Andy Beshear has said he’s considering executive action.
"Now, would I prefer that the Legislature passed it? Yes, but they didn't," Beshear said in April. "If they are not going to take action, not even give it a committee hearing in the Senate, I believe it’s my obligation to see what’s possible, given the will of the people."
The Legislature did end up passing a bill this year setting up the Kentucky Center for Cannabis Research at the University of Kentucky.
The first two of four town hall meetings across Kentucky are scheduled for:
- Wednesday, July 6 at 5:30 p.m. at the University of Pikeville Health Professions Education Building
- Tuesday, July 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet building