Beshear wants lawmakers to expand number of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana

Republished with permission of Forward Kentucky.

Gov. Andy Beshear wants Kentucky’s medical marijuana program expanded to include 15 additional conditions.

Starting in 2025, Kentucky doctors can legally prescribe medical cannabis to patients with one of seven qualifying conditions, including cancer. But Beshear wants to expand the list to 21 to include ailments like Parkinson’s Disease, sickle-cell anemia, glaucoma, and severe arthritis.

“They are included in most other states’ programs,” Beshear said Thursday during his weekly Team Kentucky update. “They are very serious conditions that we believe should become part of the program.”

Beshear said 437,0000 additional Kentuckians could benefit under the proposed expansion. His recommendation has the backing of The Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program’s board of physicians and advisers and the Team Kentucky medical cannabis work group.

Here is a list of the recommended qualifying conditions:

  • ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome
  • Neuropathies
  • Severe arthritis
  • Hepatitis C
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Huntington’s disease
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • Glaucoma
  • Terminal illness

If approved in the 2024 General Assembly, those conditions would be added to the current list of conditions, including cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, epilepsy, chronic nausea and muscle spasms.

The 2023 General Assembly approved medical cannabis and the program is set to launch in 2025.

Beshear’s administration on Thursday filed the first ten regulations on medical cannabis, which must be approved by the legislature. The guidance spells out how cannabis-related businesses can operate and how cannabis products can be packaged and advertised. The regulations can be viewed at


Written by Lisa Autry. Cross-posted from the Hoptown Chronicle.

Republished with permission of Forward Kentucky.