Just two months ago, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear announced the expedited rollout of Kentucky’s Medical Cannabis Program, set to launch for registered patients on January 1, 2025. The initiative aims to revolutionize healthcare within the state while establishing a burgeoning new industry. In hopes of ensuring fairness and minimizing litigation, licenses will be allocated through a lottery system.


Fair Lottery System

The lottery for issuing medical cannabis licenses will take place in October of this year. By randomizing selection, Kentucky hopes that the process will promote fairness and equal opportunity for all applicants whose applications pass the review and correction process. This method aims to create a transparent and equitable distribution of licenses.


Regional Distribution

Initially, to the surprise of many, just 48 medical cannabis dispensary licenses will be distributed across 11 predetermined regions in Kentucky. Each region may have at least 4 dispensaries located within it. Counties will be limited to 1 dispensary each, except for Louisville and Lexington, which can each have 2. The program will also issue 16 cannabis cultivator licenses divided into three tiers, 10 cannabis processor licenses, and an unlimited number of safety compliance facility licenses. This overall limited number is intended to prevent market saturation and ensure long-term stability.

 The Kentucky Office of Medical Cannabis Designated Licensing Regions


Qualifying Conditions

The medical cannabis program covers specific medical conditions for patients, including:

  • Any type or form of cancer
  • Chronic severe, intractable, or debilitating pain
  • Epilepsy or intractable seizure disorder
  • Multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms, or spasticity
  • Chronic nausea or cyclical vomiting
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Other conditions deemed appropriate by the Kentucky Center for Cannabis


RELATED: DEA Recommends Federal Cannabis Rescheduling


Application Process

While Kentucky has made significant strides in comparison to many other states in providing hopeful applicants with clear and concise resources, this application is no small feat. From capital requirements and scaled application and licensing fees to in depth narratives including operational plans, comprehensive operational timeline, and more, prospective applicants should be prepared for an extensive process.


 The Kentucky Office of Medical Cannabis Application & Licensing Fee Tables 


Key Dates

  • July 1, 2024: Medical licensing application window for all license types opens
  • August 31, 2024: Application window closes
  • September 15, 2024: Applicants receive action/no-action letters from the Office of Medical Cannabis indicating deficiency or approval for the lottery entry
  • October 1, 2024: Lottery for winning applications


The Application Round Opening is Right Around the Corner!

With Kentucky’s Medical Cannabis Program opening sooner than anticipated with limited licenses available, now is the time to get started on preparing for the application process. July 1st is just 2 WEEKS away! Kentucky’s licensing process is competitive, and the application requirements are extensive. Don’t go at this alone – Canna Business Services is your go to cannabis consultant to support you in navigating the cannabis business application process.

Don’t wait – get ahead of your competition. Contact Canna Business Services for support in preparing a competitive application for a medical cannabis business in Kentucky that stands out today!