Yes. Marijuana laws are still in place that continues to criminalize cannabis use and possession.
State Laws and Offenses
Here’s a list of penalties for possession, sale, and distribution of marijuana, concentrate, or paraphernalia in Kentucky.
- Marijuana is listed as a Schedule I substance in the state of Kentucky.
- According to federal law, cannabis is still considered a Schedule I Controlled Substance by the federal government
- Possession of up to eight ounces of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, which includes a maximum sentence of 45 days incarceration and a maximum fine of 250 USD.
- Possession of 8 ounces or more of marijuana can be used as evidence that there is intent to sell or transfer it.
- Sales above eight ounces are felonies; depending on the offense, it could be a Class C Felony, Class B Felony, or a Class D Felony; penalties range from one to 20 years and 500 USD to 10,000 USD depending on pounds.
- First Possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor with the possibility of one-year incarceration and a 500 USD fine.
Medical marijuana is illegal in Kentucky. Legislation has been filed to legalize the use, possession, and retail sale of marijuana for adults in Kentucky and is set to be voted on in the 2022 elections.
However, medicinal CBD (cannabidiol) products are currently legal with a written certificate from a physician.
A 2020 poll showed that nine out of ten Kentucky voters support legalizing medical marijuana, and approximately sixty percent say it should be fully legalized for adult use.
Marijuana possession of any kind is not allowed, and there are significant penalties if caught especially for subsequent offenses.
Cannabis Policy Reform Timeline
2014: Kentucky’s stance on legalizing medical marijuana starts with SB 124, which was passed in 2014, and is now the law within Chapter 218A of Kentucky’s Statutes.
This senate bill legalized cannabidiol (CBD) for medical purposes for patients, including those with post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, and chronic nausea.
The house bill to legalize the people of Kentucky to access CBD as a treatment under a physician’s recommendation practicing at a state research hospital.
SB 124 also exempted medical marijuana used in FDA-approved studies or compassionate use programs.
2017: HB 333 provided authorization to use CBD products as an FDA-approved prescription medication and legalized hemp-derived CBD with 0.3% THC or less for all Kentucky citizens.
Kentucky’s legislators have made many attempts to legalize medical marijuana over the past decade, including SB40 in 2015 and HB 166 in 2018.
2020: The Kentucky House passed HB 136 in February 2020. However, the pandemic halted progress, and essentially since Senate did not take up the medical marijuana legalization bill before they adjourned for the year, the bill didn’t make it to the next step in the process.
Presently, there are no possession limits outlined in law for prescription CBD medicine or hemp-derived CBD.
2022: However, voters will have the chance to approve the legalization of medical cannabis and possibly recreational marijuana in the 2022 and upcoming election periods.
Some of the Current Cannabis Bills in Kentucky
Learn more about Cannabis legalization in Kentucky: