Feeling Lucky? Lottery to Decide Cannabis Business Licensees in Kentucky 

April, 2024 - Bryan L. Cockroft, Daniel S. Zinsmaster

Feeling Lucky? Lottery to Decide Cannabis Business Licensees in Kentucky

In the latest update to Kentucky’s Medical Cannabis Program (the “Program”), Governor Andy Beshear signed House Bill 829 which moved up the timeline to apply for cannabis business licenses by six months. Additionally, two emergency regulations were issued by the Program that explain how to apply for a cannabis business license. From July 1, 2024 to August 31, 2024, those hoping to obtain a license may apply to be eligible for the October 2024 lottery that will decide who will be first to receive the initial set of cannabis business licenses.

The Program will allow 48 dispensary licenses to be issued and split between 11 regions throughout the Commonwealth. Each region, at a minimum, will be allocated four dispensary licenses. However, no county may have more than one dispensary located within it, with the exception of Jefferson and Fayette counties, which will be allowed two dispensaries. Additionally, there will be a limited number of cultivator and processor licenses issued.

The six month head start will allow Kentucky a chance to serve patients when the Program launches on January 1, 2025, and gives room for the program to grow in the future. Potential licensees will want to start preparing themselves for the application process, including allocating capital for licensure fees, among other costs, if they are successful in the lottery. If selected, there will be a short turnaround period if they wish to start conducting business activities before the January 1, 2025 launch date.

Dinsmore has assisted aspiring cannabis businesses in many other states and will continue to monitor any developments in the Program. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the application process or the Program in general, please do not hesitate to contact your Dinsmore attorney.


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