How Do I Get a Kentucky Medical Marijuana Card?

On March 31, 2023, Kentucky legalized medical marijuana through Senate Bill 47. The program will begin in January 2025, and the state government will hopefully soon announce when they'll start looking at applications for MMJ cards. Below, we outline everything you'll need to know about the application process and the program's rules.

Find a Licensed Physician

Although it is possible to schedule an online consultation when renewing your MMJ card, you must initially complete the process in person when looking for the doctor’s written certification. SB47 states you must have a bonafide doctor-patient relationship with your chosen physician. This may sound daunting, however, it simply means they must perform a physical exam, and there is a reasonable expectation of them providing follow-up care.

We’re unsure how many licensed physicians will agree to participate in the MMJ certification process. There may be a shortfall of doctors at first, making it tricky to book an appointment. You can rest assured that at MMJCardOnline, we’ll ensure you have easy access to cannabis-friendly doctors in Kentucky via our partners.


Schedule a Consultation

Once you find a suitable physician, you must book the appointment. During the consultation, the doctor will ask questions about your proposed use of MMJ and analyze your medical records. They will also conduct a medical exam. If they are satisfied that you’re a suitable candidate for medical marijuana, they will provide a written certification. You need this documentation to complete your application. In KY, you must complete the application within 90 days of receiving the doctor’s certification.


Register with the Kentucky MMJ Program

While specifics aren’t yet available, it seems as if prospective patients will need to complete their MMJ application online.


Buy Medical Marijuana from a Licensed Dispensary

If you’re approved, the state will send a provisional receipt which enables you to purchase medical marijuana while you wait for your physical card to arrive. It is valid for up to 45 days or whenever you receive your card. Therefore, MMJ patients in Kentucky won’t wait long to get their medicine once approved.

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How to Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Kentucky – A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Ensure that you are eligible for MMJ in Kentucky
  • Find a marijuana-friendly physician and book an appointment
  • During the 10–15-minute consultation, outline why you believe medical marijuana will help you
  • If you receive the doctor’s written certification, sign up for the Kentucky MMJ program
  • Complete the application form and wait for the state’s decision
  • If approved, visit a licensed dispensary and buy your medicine!

*It is important to remember that legal sales won’t start until January 2025 at the earliest. Therefore, Kentucky likely won’t allow patients to apply until the second half of 2024.

Kentucky Medical Marijuana Card Qualifying Conditions

You can only apply for a medical marijuana card in Kentucky if you meet the following criteria:

  • Aged 18+
  • Are a resident of Kentucky
  • Meet one of the qualifying conditions (outlined below)

Patient Qualifying Conditions

The current list of qualifying conditions in Kentucky is relatively short at present. However, the Kentucky Center for Cannabis Research can add new ones to the list. Here are the qualifying conditions as outlined by SB47:

  • PTSD
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy
  • Chronic pain
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Chronic nausea or cyclical vomiting

General Guidelines

As the state has just approved medical marijuana, a few kinks must be ironed out before the program begins. Therefore, we don’t know the entire picture right now, but we will update this guide when new information becomes available. For now, the following section outlines everything we know at present.

Medical Marijuana Card Renewal in Kentucky

The Kentucky MMJ program differs significantly from other states regarding how long cards are valid for. Once you receive your MMJ card, you can only purchase marijuana for 60 days. At this point, you have to get the doctor to renew the written certification. They can renew it a maximum of three times; in each case, it only lasts 60 days.

After that stage, you must schedule another appointment for a consultation that includes a medical examination. The good news is that you can complete this renewal consultation online if you wish.

Caregiver Rules

According to SB47, MMJ patients can select up to two caregivers. They must be aged 21+, be a Kentucky resident, and not be convicted of a disqualifying felony offense. A caregiver can help a maximum of three patients.

A Brief History of Cannabis in Kentucky

Kentucky was a major hemp grower in the 18th and 19th centuries, and marijuana was a popular drug until the 1930s. The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 outlawed the substance throughout the United States, and KY made few attempts to legalize marijuana until 2020. At that point, polls revealed an overwhelming majority of people were in favor of MMJ legalization.

Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order in November 2022, allowing people with specified medical conditions to possess MMJ purchased legally in other states.

This was a precursor to March 30, 2023, when the Kentucky state legislature passed Senate Bill 47, which legalized MMJ. Governor Beshear wasted no time as he signed it into law the very next day. It is hoped that legal sales will begin in January 2025.

Kentucky Medical Marijuana Laws and Rules

While it is great news that MMJ is legal in Kentucky, it is important to note that the current laws remain in place until 2025, and recreational marijuana remains illegal.

Therefore, if you’re caught in possession of any amount of the substance, you could spend up to 45 days in prison on a misdemeanor conviction. The possession of 8+ ounces is a felony, and if convicted, you could spend up to five years in jail. The same penalties apply to the sale of marijuana.

Cannabis cultivation is also illegal, with a possible one-year prison sentence handed down for growing one plant. It is a felony to grow 5+ plants; the penalty is a potential 5-year prison stretch.

What Types of Cannabis Products Can I Purchase in KY?

Although patients will have access to unprocessed marijuana flower, they can only vape it since smoking the substance will remain illegal. The Kentucky medical marijuana program also allows patients to purchase tinctures, capsules, and topicals. Please note that only cardholders aged 21+ can vape marijuana.

Also, marijuana flower can have a maximum THC content of 35%, with the limit set at 70% for concentrates. The maximum THC content in edibles is 10mg per serving.

How Much Cannabis Can I Buy & Possess?

Senate Bill 47 states that patients can purchase a “10-day” supply and possess a 30-day supply. The precise amount may vary from patient to patient because the doctor might have a say on how much marijuana someone can buy and possess.

Where Can I LEGALLY Purchase MMJ in Kentucky?

Information on how many dispensaries will sell medical marijuana in KY will probably remain unknown until 2024.

Can I Take My MMJ to a Different State?

No. It is a federal offense to transport marijuana from one state to another. However, the Kentucky MMJ program will permit out-of-state cardholders to buy a 10-day supply during an eight-day period. These out-of-state patients will benefit from legal protection if they possess a maximum of a 10-day supply.

Out-of-state MMJ cardholders can apply for the KY program if they aren’t a state resident or have been a resident for under 30 days. You’re only eligible if aged 21+, have a valid MMJ card in another state and have no disqualifying felony convictions.

Can I Cultivate Medical Marijuana in Kentucky?

No. There is no provision for growing marijuana at home in KY, which is unlikely to change.

FAQ About Getting an MMJ Card in Kentucky

How Long Does It Take to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Kentucky?

Applicants can expect to receive acknowledgment of their application no later than 15 working days after sending it. The state’s goal is to review applications and make a decision within 30 days of receiving the application. Once the state approves an application, it plans to send MMJ cards within five working days.

What If I Don’t Get Approved After My Consultation with a Kentucky MMJ Physician?

When the time comes, we hope to have services available for Kentucky residents. Our partners offer a full refund to clients who don’t receive a written certification after a consultation and expect this process to continue when KY begins its program.

How Much Does a Medical Card Cost in Kentucky?

The application fee is not set in stone, although it will probably be in the $50 to $100 range. On average, you can expect to pay $200+ for the initial doctor’s consultation, based on what we know from other states.

Can Minors Access MMJ in Kentucky?

Yes, patients aged 17 and under can apply for a medical marijuana card in Kentucky with the permission of a parent or legal guardian. This individual will also serve as the patient’s caregiver. Minors will need proof of diagnosis for a qualifying medical condition from two doctors working at different practices.

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