Kentucky lawmakers ready to push legalized cannabis research

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A bill circulating in the Kentucky House would pave the way for cannabis research

The different bills that seek to expand the research area for cannabis continue to have a great boom in various parts of the country. Kentucky seems to be a state that does not want to be left behind in that race and legislators are 100% supportive of the measure. House Bill 604 seeks to establish a cannabis-specific medical research center at the University of Kentucky.

The measure has several provisions that define the mission of the new research center. Among the most prominent objectives are to conduct and fund research related to cannabis and cannabis derivatives, conduct and fund research related to health effects, and review current and future cannabis research literature, clinical studies, and clinical trials.

Bluegrass State Gov. Andy Beshear made it clear that the implementation of such a facility should not stand in the way of legislative efforts to legalize access to medical marijuana in an effort to meet the demand of the large number of patients who could benefit from the plant. “I think we need to move toward legalization, even as the center gets up and going,” Beshear said last week. “There’s a lot of research out there already. It’s okay that we want to be a part of future research. But it shouldn’t be used as an excuse to stall that momentum.”

In the spring, the House gave the green light to a bill seeking to regulate and legalize medical cannabis in the state. However, Senate leaders have not yet wanted to touch on the issue.

Because of that, Beshear has said he is willing to use his office’s executive powers to modify the state’s marijuana policies. It has not yet been made clear what plans he has in mind to make those changes.