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Kentucky Marijuana Laws

Quite a few states have been in the news lately relaxing their prohibitions on marijuana. And since illegal grass has been described as the Bluegrass State’s number one cash crop, it’s only logical to wonder when legalization might happen in Kentucky. The answer, at least for now, is not yet. Here is an introduction to the current marijuana laws in Kentucky.

Marijuana Laws in Kentucky

Marijuana possession and sale remains almost entirely illegal in Kentucky. While a law was passed in April of 2014 allowing patients access to cannabidiol (or “CBD,” a non-psychoactive element of marijuana) in medicinal cases, it is not expected to increase availability or use. Although other states have amended their drug laws to permit marijuana legalization and decriminalization, possession and sale of marijuana is still a crime in the Kentucky, with certain levels of possession constituting a felony under state law.

Kentucky Marijuana Statutes

Not all state marijuana laws treat pot equally. The table below highlights the specifics of Kentucky’s marijuana statutes.

Code Section

Kentucky Revised Statutes 218A.010, et seq.: Controlled Substances


Class A misdemeanor (includes less than 5 plants); over 5 plants: Class D felony


Under 8 oz.: Class A misdemeanor; Subsequent offense: Class D felony; 8 oz. to 5 lbs.: Class D felony; Subsequent offense: Class C felony Over 5 lbs.: Class C felony; Subsequent offense: Class B felony; Possession of over 8 oz. is prima facie evidence of intent to sell



Just as Kentucky has resisted the recent trend of legalization and decriminalization of marijuana, so has the federal government. The federal Controlled Substance Act prohibits the possession and sale of marijuana. And even if a state’s marijuana laws change to permit medicinal or recreational use, federal law always trumps state law in cases of conflict. Thus far, federal law enforcement agencies have been reluctant to intervene in the majority of in-state marijuana issues, but haven’t given up on enforcing restrictions on high-profile cases of pot possession and manufacturing and cultivation or inter-state trafficking and distribution.

Kentucky Marijuana Laws: Related Resources

As noted above, state drug laws can change over time. You can contact a Kentucky drug crime attorney if you would like legal advice relating to a drug matter. You can also visit FindLaw’s drug charges section for additional articles and information on this topic. If you would like help with a substance abuse problem, Kentucky's Office of Drug Control Policy has treatment resources that may help.

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