In 2014, the Kentucky legislature revised the definition of marijuana under state law to create legal protections for patients who use CBD as part of an approved clinical trial or on the written order of “a physician practicing at a hospital or affiliated with a Kentucky public university having a college or a school of medicine.” Although the law does not limit the use of CBD to one particular condition, Kentucky fails to provide authorization for a CBD production or retail system, making the program completely ineffective. 

In September 2017, a Kentucky judge ruled that Kentucky has a good reason to “curtail citizens’ possession of a narcotic, hallucinogenic drug.” (Seum et. al, v. Bevin) On the other hand, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has called for a taskforce to look into possible medical cannabis legalization, though the task force itself has no legislative authority. 

2019 was the first year Kentucky’s General Assembly put forward a bill to legalize medical cannabis. HB 136 was passed by Kentucky’s House chamber in February but has stalled in the Senate since the outbreak of COVID.