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April 2023: Kentucky Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill

27 Apr

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Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of Kentucky

What happened?
On March 31, 2023, Governor Beshear signed Senate Bill 47 (SB 47) into law, which legalizes the medicinal use of cannabis for patients with serious health conditions.

What are the details?
Effective January 1, 2025, SB 47 will provide access to medicinal cannabis only for those individuals with a qualifying medical condition. These include:

  • Any type or form of cancer, regardless of stage
  • Chronic, severe, intractable, or debilitating pain
  • Epilepsy or any other intractable seizure disorder
  • Multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, or spasticity
  • Chronic nausea or cyclical vomiting syndrome resistant to other conventional medical treatments
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Below are several hyperlinks to important questions and answers for employers regarding this new law provided by one of our most trusted sources, Fisher Phillips:

Who Does the Law Protect?

Are Employees Governed by Professional Licensing Boards Subject to Disciplinary Action for Use of Medicinal Cannabis?

Are Employers Required to Permit Employees to Use Medicinal Cannabis?

Are Employers Required to Make Reasonable Accommodations?

Can Employers Still Test for Drug Use?

For more information, please see the links below:

Senate Bill 47 (SB 47)

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and should current drug use and testing policies with your human resources department to discern whether any changes need to be made to policies prior to the act’s effective date.

Employers should also watch for administrative regulations, which will likely be issued prior to the effective date and may further clarify your responsibilities as they relate to employees who are qualified and registered to use medicinal cannabis.

Need help understanding how changes to employment laws will affect your business?

Learn more about how Vensure's Kentucky PEO services can help you navigate complex employment laws and keep your business compliant.


This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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