Ky. cannabis groups see surge in predatory practices

KENTUCKY NORML has received several reports of predatory practices taking place in the Commonwealth.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 3:47 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Governor Beshear’s executive order on medical cannabis was seen as a positive step towards legalization by many of its proponents. However, a group pushing for legislative reform has noticed a concerning trend since its implementation.

Since the turn of the year, Kentuckians have been seeking out approval to leave the state and get medical cannabis. However, Deputy Director of KENTUCKY NORML, Lauren Bratcher, says certain businesses are taking advantage of the situation.

KENTUCKY NORML has received several reports of predatory practices taking place in the Commonwealth.

Bratcher says the approval should come from consulting your trusted primary care physician.

“We assume that because cannabis is still a controlled substance, it will be treated like a prescription,” Bratcher said.

Bratcher says all that a doctor needs to do right now is verify you have one of the conditions listed under Gov. Beshear’s order. But instead, some people have been getting medical cards or certificates specifically for cannabis at an exorbitant price.

“They’re saying, ‘We’re going to make you legal. For $200 or $300, we’re going to make you a certification, and that’s going to make you legal in the state of Kentucky,’” said Bratcher.

Bratcher says that provides Kentuckians a false sense of protection and that the purchase itself is unnecessary at this time.

“Right now, there is no card,” said Bratcher. “you should not have to pay for anything unless it’s a visit to your PCP.”

Even still, she says people without a medical provider are getting pulled in out of desperation. So she’s trying to sound the alarm and help them avoid this expense.

“A lot of these people are on disability. They’re on strict budgets,” said Bratcher. “to be paying two or three hundred dollars, that to me is very predatory, and I don’t think it’s acceptable.”

Bratcher says that this brings about one more reason her organization hopes medical cannabis will be legalized. She believes that statewide regulations will help Kentuckians to not only pay reasonable prices but also get the product that’s best for them.

There are 21 conditions that are eligible under the Governor’s executive order.