(KY) According to the Office of Drug Control Policy, in 2016, approximately 561,000 plants were eradicated in the Commonwealth, over $745,000 worth of assets were seized…

Dear Ms. Krider;

Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts on marijuana. Your views help me represent Kentucky and the nation in the United States Senate, and I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

In your correspondence, you expressed your thoughts on rescheduling marijuana from its current status as a Schedule I controlled substance. Kentuckians continue to combat the negative consequences associated with the cultivation and distribution of marijuana in communities across the state. According to the Office of Drug Control Policy, in 2016, approximately 561,000 plants were eradicated in the Commonwealth, over $745,000 worth of assets were seized, and more than 85 weapons were taken off the streets as a result of the marijuana eradication operations. Kentucky carries the dubious distinction of ranking as one of the top marijuana producing states in the nation. Traffickers have been known to trespass on both private and public lands, often resulting in damage to private property and many of the Commonwealth’s most cherished natural habitats.

That is one reason why I encouraged Gil Kerlikowske, then-Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, to tour Kentucky. Known as the country’s “drug czar,” Director Kerlikowske focused his attention on better understanding the scope of Kentucky’s drug problem in order to make an informed decision on how best to continue the federal government’s commitment to combating drugs in the Commonwealth within current resource limitations.

There is no doubt that drug abuse persists as a serious problem in all 120 counties of the Commonwealth, and the effects of such abuse have proved devastating for our local communities. Because of the harm that substances like marijuana and other illegal drugs pose to our society, I oppose their legalization. That said, I will keep your thoughts in mind as the 115th Congress progresses.

Thank you for contacting me about this important matter. If you would like to receive periodic updates about issues such as this, please sign up for my eNewsletter at http://mcconnell.senate.gov/ and become a fan of my page on Facebook, by visiting http://www.facebook.com/mitchmcconnell or follow my office on Twitter @McConnellPress.




(KY) A medical marijuana bill waiting for momentum gets a spark from Lexington

By Beth Musgrave   bmusgrave@herald-leader.com

The Lexington city council voted Tuesday to support medical marijuana, becoming the largest city in Kentucky to back efforts to allow some patients access to marijuana.

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council voted unanimously during a specially-called meeting Tuesday on a resolution supporting marijuana for people with certain conditions.

Bullitt County, Maysville and Mason County have passed similar resolutions in recent years supporting state-level changes in the law to allow patients to get marijuana for medical conditions. The Louisville Metro Council is weighing a similar resolution.

House Bill 166, which would provide a legal framework for medical marijuana, has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee but has not yet had a hearing. Backers of HB 166 have pushed for cities and counties in Kentucky to pass resolutions supporting the bill in hopes that it will get a hearing before the legislative session concludes on April 15.

Vice Mayor Steve Kay said the council ultimately decided to take out reference to a specific bill in the resolution passed Tuesday. The council ultimately wanted to support the overall effort to make marijuana available to people with certain medical conditions.

“We would like to see the issue of medical marijuana addressed at the state level so we can address it at the local level,” Kay said.

Councilwoman Amanda Bledsoe said she felt uncomfortable taking a vote on an issue the voters of her district had not asked her to decide. Medical marijuana is a state or federal issue. But Bledsoe said she would support the effort because she saw how much her father suffered before he died of cancer.

“My father had terminal cancer for eight years,” Bledsoe said. “He was under immense pain. For that reason, I think it’s important for the state to take up the issue. “

Medical marijuana faces opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate and House. The bill has been opposed by the Kentucky Narcotics Officers Association. HB 166 would require a doctor to recommend marijuana before a patient could get it. It would be dispensed through a state-run dispensary.

The council decided to have the specially-called meeting Tuesday to pass the resolution after several Lexington-area residents spoke Thursday before the council. Those speakers told the council medical marijuana could help cancer patients, veterans with post traumatic stress disorder and those dealing with chronic pain who do not want to use opiates.

Beth Musgrave: 859-231-3205, @HLCityhall


Sally Oh was Live on Facebook: “Medical Cannabis, States’ Rights & the Civil War”


Sally Oh

Above is the LINK to Sally Oh’s live video on Facebook explaining States Rights and the medical cannabis war.

There is also an article at this LINK from the Tenth Amendment Center which explains States Rights.

States Don’t Have to Comply: The Anti-Commandeering Doctrine

Laws passed in pursuance of the Constitution do stand as the supreme law of the land. But that doesn’t in any way imply the federal government lords over everything and everybody in America. LINK



There is also a very good layout of the Kentucky Cannabis Bills for 2018 at the KENTUCKY FREE PRESS website.  Here is that LINK.





Important Bills to watch in Kentucky

Every so often I post emails containing the Bills being worked on in Kentucky, from the Legislature.  I thought I would post a list for the Medical Marijuana and adult use Cannabis Bills, and a few other Bills of interest as well.  There are several hundred this year and there is no way anyone could keep up with all of them.  I encourage you to go to the link and browse them for yourself.  It can be interesting and informative reading!

Home Page Banner

By clicking on the above LINK you will access the website of the Kentucky Legislature.

Then you can access Bill Watch and register to track the bills that interest YOU.

Bill Watch – This free service enables Kentucky.gov registered users unlimited tracking of legislation during the Kentucky Legislative Session.


Cannabis Bills include:

SB 80 (BR 906) Sponsors:  Dan Malano Seum  / An Act To Regulate Cannabis.

HB 166 (BR 184) Sponsors: Multiple / AN ACT relating to medical cannabis and making an appropriation therefor.

SB 118 (BR 1392) Sponsor: Multiple / AN ACT relating to medical cannabis.

HCR 34 (BR 447) Sponsors: Multiple / A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION calling for the expediting of research regarding the safety and efficacy of the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

SB 23 (BR 163)  Sponsors:  Julian M Carroll; Reginald Thomas; Denise Harper Angel; / AN ACT relating to cannabidiol use.  Create a new section of KRS Chapter 218A to permit a physician to recommend the use of cannabidiol or cannabidiol products;

Hemp Bills include:

HCR 35 (BR 878) Sponsors:  DJ Johnson; Kimberly Poore Moser / A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION urging Congress to amend the federal Controlled Substances Act to remove hemp from the definition of marijuana.

Other Issues:

HB 35 (BR  173)  Sponsors:  C. Wesley Morgan / AN ACT relating to public assistance.  Amend KRS 205.200 to create a substance abuse screening program for adult recipients of public assistance, food stamps, and state medical assistance.

HCR  106 (BR  1116)  Sponsors:  Multiple / A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION urging Congress and the President of the United States to enact a long-term reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

HB 243 (BR 313) Sponsors:  Toby Herald; Adam Koenig / AN ACT relating to the consolidation of counties.

HB 242 (BR 331) Sponsors:  Toby Herald / AN ACT relating to school districts.

SB 2 (BR 308) Sponsors:  Multiple / AN ACT proposing an amendment to Section 54 of the Constitution of Kentucky. / The General Assembly shall have power to Limit the amount to be recovered for injuries resulting in death. / allow the General Assembly the power to limit damages for injuries resulting in death or for injuries to persons or property, and to provide a uniform statute of limitations;

HB 124 (BR 139) Sponsors: Addia Wuchner;  Kimberly Poore Moser / AN ACT relating to enhanced standards and criteria for substance use disorder treatment and recovery services and programs and declaring an emergency.

HB 213 (BR 1202) Sponsors:  Multiple / AN ACT relating to data-sharing of prescription drug monitoring information.  Amend KRS 218A.245 to allow KASPER data-sharing agreements with different types of jurisdictions.

HB 148 (BR 440)  Sponsors: Addia Wuchner; Kimberly Poore Moser /AN ACT relating to prescription medications in hospice programs.   Create a new section of KRS Chapter 381 to shift ownership of controlled substances from a deceased hospice patient to a hospice program so the hospice program may dispose of the controlled substances.

HB 115 (BR 260)  Sponsors:  Robby Mills / AN ACT relating to reporting prescriptions to terminate a pregnancy.  Amend KRS 213.101 to require a physician to report a prescription for mifeprex, misoprostol, or any other drug or combination of drugs that are intended to end a pregnancy…

SB 5 (BR 216) Sponsors:  Multiple / AN ACT relating to pharmacy benefits in the Medicaid program.  Create a new section of KRS Chapter 205 to require the Department for Medicaid Services to directly administer all outpatient pharmacy benefits; prohibit renewal or negotiation of new contracts to provide Medicaid managed care that allow administration of outpatient benefits by any entity but the Department for Medicaid Services;

HB 85 (BR 126)  Sponsors:  Scott Wells; / AN ACT relating to elimination of the certificate of need.  Amend KRS 13B.020 to delete reference to certificate of need hearings; amend KRS 79.080 to replace the Kentucky Health Facilities and Health Services Certificate of Need and Licensure Board with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services;

HB 167 (BR 400) Sponsors:  Multiple / AN ACT relating to abandoned infants. Amend KRS 405.075 to establish a definition and allow the use of a “newborn safety device” related to the anonymous surrendering of a newborn infant in the Commonwealth.

HR 98 (BR 1061) Sponsors:  Multiple / A RESOLUTION urging the United States Congress to propose an amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America promoting equality of citizenship by establishing that artificial entities, such as corporations, associations, or other similar groups, are not persons and can be regulated, and that money is not speech and can be regulated.

SB 4 (BR 110) Sponsors: Multiple / AN ACT proposing to amend Section 95 of the Constitution of Kentucky relating to the election of state officers.  Propose to amend Section 95 of the Constitution of Kentucky to hold the election of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, Auditor of Public Accounts, Attorney General, Secretary of State and Commissioner of Agriculture, Labor and Statistics in even-numbered years, every four years, beginning in 2024;

HB 195 (BR 1056) Sponsors: Multiple / Amend KRS 344.010 to include definitions for “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”; amend KRS 344.020, relating to the purpose of the Kentucky’s civil rights chapter, to include a prohibition against discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity.

HB 303 (BR 1059) Sponsors: Multiple / Amend KRS 337.010, relating to the definition of “employees” of retail stores and service industries, to increase the applicable threshold of business that applies to from $95,000 to $500,000; amend KRS 337.275 to raise the state minimum wage to not less than $8.80 an hour on August 1, 2018, not less than $10.35 an hour beginning on August 1, 2019, not less than $11.90 an hour beginning on August 1, 2020, not less than $13.45 an hour beginning on August 1, 2021, and not less than $15.00 per hour beginning on August 1, 2022;

SB 48 (BR 265) Sponsors: Multiple / AN ACT relating to child marriage. Amend KRS 402.020 to establish a new minimum age for marriage; amend KRS 402.030 to establish the power of courts to declare a marriage void when one party is under 18 years of age; amend KRS 402.210 to prohibit individuals under the age of 17 years from marrying; establish the process for a 17- year old to petition a court for permission to marry and the criteria for granting the petition; repeal KRS 402.260 which provides for the estate of minors who marry to be placed in receivership until they reach the age of 18 years.

(KY) This Week at the State Capitol (Jan. 29 – Feb. 2)

February 2, 2018

This Week at the State Capitol (Jan. 29 – Feb. 2)

Pace quickens in second month of legislative session

FRANKFORT – As lawmakers enter the second month of the Kentucky General Assembly’s 2018 session, action already has been taken on a number of fronts that could have impacts across the state.

Lawmakers have approved a measure to allow Kentuckians to vote in November on a proposed state constitutional amendment to create what’s been referred to as a “bill of rights” for crime victims.

Budget subcommittees are digging into the details of the governor’s proposed spending plan to fully understand the potential impact of proposed cuts, as well as certain areas where spending increases are proposed. In the coming weeks, lawmakers will begin weighing which parts of the budget plan they want to adjust to make sure the final plan is one that matches their priorities for the state.

Meanwhile, almost 300 bills have been introduced for consideration in the Senate and House. The amount of legislation moving through the process will continue growing each day up as more bills are filed and advanced through the legislative committee system.

Bills that took steps forward this week include:

· Senate Bill 37 would allow some nonviolent federal prisoners to get driver’s licenses so they can work outside of prison walls. SB 37 would also amend current law to included federal prisoners under existing regulations that allow state prisoners to receive driver’s licenses or identification cards upon release. SB 37 passed the Senate by a 36-0 vote. The measure now goes to the House for further consideration.

· House Bill 52 would require any child under age 12 to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. While the bill does not impose fines for not wearing a helmet, the intent is to increase safety for children while cycling. After passing the House Transportation Committee, HB 52 now goes to the full House for consideration.

· Under House Bill 84, coroners or medical examiners would be required to verify the organ and tissue donation wishes of a deceased person in their care. Such information is now released by coroners and medical examiners to Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates upon the group’s request, but the intent of this bill is to increase urgency in this process. HB 84 passed the House by a vote of 88-0 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

· Senate Bill 68 would clarify that a victim of domestic violence is not required to pay divorce costs of a spouse locked up for crimes against the petitioner. Under current state law, someone seeking a divorce against an incarcerated person can be held responsible for paying the incarcerated person’s court-appointed lawyer, even when the imprisonment is the result of spousal abuse. This bill was passed by the Senate this week by a 37-0 vote and has been delivered to the House.

· House Bill 132 would require Kentucky public high school students to fulfill a financial literacy requirement to graduate. The bill was approved this week by a vote of 68-24 in the state House and now goes to the Senate.

· ­Senate Bill 72 would curtail the naming of state buildings, roads and bridges after living politicians in Kentucky with the intent to take the politics out of these naming decisions. Passing with a 35-3 vote in the Senate, it now goes to the state House for further consideration.

Legislators are eager to receive feedback on the issues confronting our state. To share your thoughts and ideas with state lawmakers, please call the General Assembly’s toll-free message line at (800) 372-7181.



(KY) SB 118–Relating to Medical Cannabis

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, suit and indoor

Thank you Senator Steve West for giving KY patients the freedom to try cannabis.  SB118 will give patients the choice to try cannabis for their condition without fear of prosecution, imprisonment, loss of parental rights…LINK

SB 118(BR-1392)(click bill number to view bill details.)

Title:  AN ACT relating to medical cannabis.


West , Stephen
Seum , Dan “Malano”
Clark , Perry B.
Thomas , Reginald
Embry Jr. , C.B.

Current Status:

introduced in Senate
In Senate


Create new sections of KRS Chapter 218A to define terms; restrict medical cannabis to certain patients with qualifying debilitating conditions; establish requirements for cultivation, production, processing, distribution, and sale in compassion centers; establish requirements for patients, visiting patients, and caregivers; establish professional protections for practitioners; establish certain protections for cardholders; establish responsibilities for cardholders; allow restrictions on possession, possession while operating a motor vehicle, and smoking; specify that use of medical cannabis by a qualifying patient is to be treated the same as use of prescribed pharmaceutical medications; establish additional protections for medical use; specify that nothing in the bill requires government programs or private insurers to reimburse for the costs of use or prohibits an employer from disciplining an employee for workplace impairment; establish a medical purpose defense for some uses of medical cannabis; establish the Department for Medical Cannabis Administration to enforce the program’s provisions;  LINK



AgTech’s Diversified, Farmers-First Industrial Hemp Operation to Create 271 Jobs in Bourbon County

Company will work with farmers and UK, make $5M-plus initial investment in Paris facility for developing hemp-based products

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 26, 2018) – AgTech Scientific plans to create 271 jobs at a new hemp-products development and manufacturing center in Paris as it forges relationships with Kentucky farmers and partners on research projects with the state’s flagship university, Gov. Matt Bevin announced today.

“AgTech’s plans for Bourbon County put the company at the forefront of realizing Kentucky’s potential as an international leader in hemp production,” said Gov. Bevin. “The fact that their business plan includes groundbreaking research being performed at the University of Kentucky and mutually beneficial partnerships with our state’s farmers holds exciting possibilities for both industrial and agricultural hemp. This would not have been possible without last year’s efforts to better align state law with federal guidelines, which ensure hemp is grown and processed with the utmost transparency and under strict law enforcement supervision.”

AgTech leaders plan to buy 10 acres and a 10-acre option in the Bourbon County Business Park to build a state-of-the-art, 50,000-square-foot facility, expected to open in 2018. The company’s $5 million-plus investment could grow in the future.

AgTech holds a conditionally approved 2018 grower license from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program and intends to partner with Kentucky farmers for largescale hemp production. The company would then extract cannabidiol (CBD) from the locally grown hemp. CBD differs from THC, the intoxicant in marijuana. Initially, the facility would produce an energy drink incorporating a hemp additive and would later expand its product lineup.

In partnership with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, AgTech is researching potential health benefits of hemp-based additives for animal food. AgTech plans to eventually begin manufacturing pet and equine foods, among other products, contingent on changes to regulations.

Mike French, founder and president of AgTech, said the company chose Kentucky based on agricultural and manufacturing advantages. Increasing hemp yield while reducing risk will be key to building trust in the agricultural community and eventually with consumers, he said.

“Kentucky at one point many years ago was responsible for the vast majority of industrial hemp production,” French said. “The growing conditions are excellent and it’s ideally located geographically and near largescale ‘pick-and-pack’ facilities like Amazon.

“We thought it best to cover the full spectrum, from seed to sale. The best way to do that is to work with the farmer. The state needs to replace tobacco as a cash crop, but growers are used to getting a price before they plant. The problem with industrial hemp has been there is not a known commodity price, or price for quality. We are going to work with Kentucky farmers and guarantee a net price per acre through our Kentucky Farmer Value Added Partnership (KFVAP). If farmers are successful, then AgTech will be successful.”

Founded by Canadian entrepreneurs in 2015, AgTech’s leaders spent the last several years planning and seeking the right location for their company. The opportunity to launch AgTech in a state where hemp has such a rich history in tandem with the state’s largest research institution also made Kentucky attractive.

“Our research partnership with the University of Kentucky will be very important,” French said. “We’ve chosen to start with a three-year study, including actual testing, to better understand taste, effectiveness and overall benefits industrial hemp has for the equine industry and pets.”

Kentucky Department of Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said the addition of AgTech could benefit both rural and urban areas of the state.

“The continued growth and expansion of Kentucky’s nationally renowned hemp industry is creating new markets for our farmers and new jobs for rural as well as urban communities,” Commissioner Quarles said. “We want to thank Governor Bevin and our partners at the University of Kentucky for their continued commitment to growing our agricultural economy. We are thrilled to welcome AgTech to Kentucky.”

Sen. Stephen West, of Paris, said AgTech will make Bourbon County the epicenter of a rebirth in the state’s hemp industry.

“I am proud that AgTech will put Bourbon County on the front line in hemp research and development with its new facility,” Sen. West said. “With the county’s centralized location and ideal growing conditions, I look forward to the success of AgTech’s newest operations and the innovative products they will create for a number of industries.”

Rep. Sannie Overly, of Paris, noted the positive impact the project could have on local farmers.

“It means a lot that Bourbon County and our local farmers will have the opportunity to play a front-line role in the ongoing development of industrial hemp as another major agricultural commodity,” said Rep. Overly. “I appreciate AgTech’s decision to invest in our community and look forward to seeing its innovative ideas become a reality.”

Paris mayor Mike Thornton said AgTech’s approach to hemp creates intriguing possibilities for the company and the community.

“We are excited to partner with the state Economic Development Cabinet and Bourbon County Fiscal Court, to welcome AgTech Scientific to Paris and Bourbon County and look forward to helping them grow and build on their previous successes,” Mayor Thornton said. “Their cutting-edge technology not only creates much needed employment opportunities but offers an exciting new process for industrial hemp that will surely be a huge benefit to our local farmers. With the cooperation of the University of Kentucky, I anticipate seeing great things from AgTech Scientific in the future.”

Bourbon County judge-executive Michael R. Williams said county officials were encouraged by the company’s announcement and optimistic about its plans.

“The Bourbon County Fiscal Court is excited to share in the great news announcing that AgTech Scientific has selected Bourbon County to locate its state of the art facility for its industrial hemp operation,” Judge-Executive Williams said. “Their partnership with the Bourbon County Workforce and Bourbon County Farmers to grow their business will have a tremendous impact on the industry in Kentucky and secure a positive presence for their long term future in Bourbon County. We welcome their investment, their innovative ideas and their vision for the future. It’s great to have AgTech Scientific in Bourbon County.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in January preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $2.4 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

In addition, AgTech can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal year 2017, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for more than 120,000 Kentuckians and 5,700 companies from a variety of industry sectors.

For more information on AgTech, visit www.agtechscientific.com.

A detailed community profile for Paris and Bourbon County can be viewed at http://bit.ly/BourbonCo.

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Watch the Cabinet’s “This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.