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US (KY): New bill would legalize cannabis for adults, but faces uphill battle

Lawmakers in Kentucky have filed new cannabis legislation with a notable bill number: HB 420. If passed, it would legalize and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older, though few expect the proposal to get through in the state’s Republican-controlled legislature this session.

As introduced by Rep. Rachel Roberts (D), HB 420 would legalize cannabis and license a variety of business types, including cultivators, processors, and retailers. A 9 percent excise tax would be imposed both on wholesale and retail purchases, and local governments could levy an additional “licensing fee” of up to 5 percent “for the privilege of operating within the limits of the local government.”

420, of course, is a number of special significance for cannabis reform advocates, with April 20 being the unofficial holiday to celebrate the plant. It’s not clear if Roberts timed the filing of the legislation in order to get assigned bill number HB 420.

Under the Kentucky bill, consumer purchases of cannabis from licensed retailers would begin on July 1, 2026, under the proposal, though some provisions of the bill would kick in next year.

Read more at www.marijuanamoment.net

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