Recreational marijuana is illegal in Kentucky, though Jefferson County, which is home to Louisville, has decriminalized the possession of up to 1 oz. Throughout the rest of the state, possession of less than 8 oz of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 45 days of incarceration and a maximum fine of $250.
Possession of 8 oz or more of marijuana is considered proof of intent to sell or distribute, which is a felony. First-time offenders found cultivating less than 5 marijuana plants face misdemeanor charges and a maximum penalty of a $500 fine and imprisonment of up to 1 year. A subsequent offense involving less than 5 plants is a felony punishable by 1-5 years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000. Cultivation of more than 5 plants is a felony. The punishment for first-time offenders is 1-5 years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000. For second-time offenders, the maximum fine is $10,000 and the maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years.
Kentucky does not currently have a medical marijuana program, but under the Clara Madeline Gillam Act individuals participating in a clinical trial or expanded access program through a hospital or associated clinic affiliated with a public university in Kentucky that has a college or school of medicine may be granted access to cannabis preparations that are high in CBD and extremely low in THC. These preparations may be provided by physicians practicing through one of these hospitals or associated clinics. The act does not specify how these preparations are distinct from CBD-rich formulations that are hemp-derived and contain less than 0.3% THC.