To combat opioid addiction and chronic pain, Kentucky passed a bill to legalize medical cannabis in March 2023, and patients can legally start consuming medical cannabis on January 1, 2025. Businesses can apply for a Kentucky cannabis safety compliance facility license if they want to provide testing services for medical cannabis operators. In this article, the team at E4 Bioscience breakdown the license application process, including timelines, eligibility requirements, required items, and more.
However, before we dive into the application process for a cannabis testing license in Kentucky, let first discuss what you can and can't do as a license holder.
Table of Contents:
Permissible Actions for a Kentucky Cannabis Safety Compliance Facility
First, a cannabis safety compliance facility is what Kentucky is calling a cannabis testing laboratory. So we will use these terms interchangeably. However, there are a few unique aspects to a Kentucky cannabis safety compliance facility that differentiates it from your typical cannabis testing laboratory.
As a licensed cannabis safety compliance facility in Kentucky, you are permitted to posses, transport, and test medical cannabis.
But unique to Kentucky, the cannabis safety compliance facility license also allows you to produce and sell:
educational material related to the use of medicinal cannabis,
materials other than medicinal cannabis (this includes but is not limited to lab equipment and packaging materials' used by Kentucky cannabis businesses or medical cannabis cardholders).
As a cannabis safety compliance facility, you are also permitted to provide training as a service to Kentucky medical cannabis business agents and cardholders. Training is not limited to cannabis testing. In fact, your training can include, but need not be limited to:
cultivation, harvesting, packaging, labeling, and distribution of medicinal cannabis;
security and inventory accountability procedures; and
scientific and medical research findings.
Now that you are aware of what the Kentucky safety compliance facility license permits you to do, let's now discuss when you can apply for the license.
Timeline for starting a Kentucky Cannabis Testing Laboratory
On March 31, 2023, Governor Andy Beshear signed Senate Bill 47 (SB 47) into law, legalizing medical cannabis for purchase by written certification beginning on Jan. 1, 2025.
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (“CHFS”) is responsible for developing specific regulations for the medical cannabis program. They are currently developing the administrative regulations.
Therefore, you will likely be able to apply for a Kentucky cannabis testing laboratory license sometime in mid 2024.
In short, you can apply for a Kentucky cannabis safety compliance facility license, as long as none of your principal officers or board members:
have been convicted of a disqualifying felony offense;
have served as a principal officer or board member for a cannabis business that has had its license revoked;
are younger than twenty-one (21) years of age; or
are a medicinal cannabis practitioner; or
are a principal officer or board member of a cultivator, processor, producer, or dispensary licensed to operate in Kentucky.
If none of your board members or principal officers meet the criteria above, then you are able to apply for a license to operate a cannabis safety compliance facility in Kentucky. However, you must still submit a strong application that will be approved.
The next section summarizes the application process, and includes tips on how you can improve your chances of success.
Application Process for a Cannabis Safety Compliance Facility in Kentucky
To obtain a license to operate a cannabis testing laboratory in Kentucky, you must apply for a cannabis safety compliance facility license on a form prescribed by the CHFS. While the application is not published yet, we can predict what will likely be required for you to submit, since we've helped businesses win licenses and start cannabis testing labs across the U.S.
Based on our experience, the application for a cannabis safety compliance facility in Kentucky is likely to require, at a minimum:
Business Plan and Management Profile;
Regulatory Compliance plan;
Plan to obtain liability insurance;
Safety and Security Plan;
Standard Operating Procedures (“SOPs”) for:
Adverse Event Reporting;
Inventory Control, Storage, Diversion Prevention;
Secure Transport of Cannabis;
Sampling and Testing of Cannabis; and
Reporting of Test Results for Cannabis.
You will also likely have to submit information about your facility, including floor designs, security specifications, location of equipment, etc.
As you can tell, starting a Kentucky cannabis testing laboratory is a time consuming and complex matter. The application requires hundreds of pages of technical documentation that must comply with federal, state, and local laws.
Luckily, our cannabis testing consultants at E4 Bioscience are experts at winning licenses and starting labs. Schedule a call today to learn how we do the heavy lifting for you and guide you to successfully starting a cannabis safety compliance facility in Kentucky.
Don't wait to get started on your safety compliance facility license application. You can begin taking steps now that will improve your chances of winning a license and allow you to be a first mover. Take your first step toward starting a cannabis testing laboratory in Kentucky by scheduling a free consultation.