KENTUCKY (WEHT) – Governor Andy Beshear announced plans in April to establish an advisory committee on medical cannabis to travel around the state and listen to what Kentuckians have to say about medical cannabis. On Tuesday, the governor named 17 initial members of the Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee, including two members from the Tri-State area.

A release from Gov. Beshear says the 17 members named through an executive order have relevant experience in health care, treatment of opioid use disorder and other diseases of addiction, law enforcement, criminal justice and advocacy for medical cannabis. The governor says he wants every voice to be heard as he weighs executive action that could provide access to medical cannabis in Kentucky.

“Polling suggests 90% of Kentucky adults support legalizing medical cannabis,” said Gov. Beshear, “while at the same time, far too many in our state who could benefit from it are suffering. It is simply time that something more is done.”

Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Kerry Harvey and Secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet Ray Perry will serve as co-chairs of the Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee. The following members were also named:

  • Kristin Wilcox of Beaver Dam, co-founder of Kentucky Moms for Medical Cannabis
  • Julie Wallace of Morganfield, Union County Attorney
  • Dee Dee Taylor of Louisville, chief executive officer, 502 Hemp Wellness Center
  • Andrew Sparks of Lexington, former assistant U.S. Attorney
  • Dr. Linda McClain of Louisville, OB/GYN, Commonwealth Counseling Center
  • Alex Kreit of Cincinnati, Ohio, director of the Chase Center on Addiction Law and Policy at Northern Kentucky University
  • Dr. Nick Kouns of Lexington, internal medicine, Clark Regional Medical Center
  • Brian Jointer of Jeffersonville, Indiana, certified public health worker in Louisville
  • Dr. Jonathan Hatton of Whitesburg, family medicine, Mountain Comprehensive Health
  • Dr. John Farmer of Louisville, OB/GYN, medical director of Solid Ground Counseling and Recovery, addition treatment provider in Louisville, Morehead and Hazard
  • Cookie Crews of Frankfort, commissioner of the Department of Corrections
  • Eric Crawford of Maysville, advocate
  • Jennifer Cave of Louisville, member, Sites and Harbison
  • Julie Cantwell of Rineyville, advocate with Kentuckians for Medical Marijuana
  • Dr. Amber Cann of La Grange, pharmacy coach and adjunct professor at Spalding University

According to a press release, the committee will come together for the first time in the near future to schedule town hall meetings throughout the commonwealth. Town hall meetings will be open to the public for discussion and feedback from residents, local leaders, health care providers and advocacy groups.

The governor also announced the launch of a new website where Kentuckians can learn more about the upcoming work of the advisory committee and submit their own feedback. For more information, click here.