After passing the Kentucky General Assembly with unanimous support, a new law that would permit state public universities to research and prescribe medical cannabis oil is hitting a rough patch.
The bill’s passage came in response to moving testimony from parents with epileptic children, which the drug is believed to treat.
Karen Skjei is an assistant professor at U of L and director of Kosair Children’s Hospital’s pediatric epilepsy monitoring unit. She says the new law doesn’t provide any groundwork for getting the oil into the hands of patients, and the university is currently seeking grants to fund clinical trials to study and administer the drug.
“It’s not available anywhere in the state,” said Skjei. “You can’t bring it in across state lines. So at this point there’s no way for patients to get it.”
Chris Shafer is an adult epileptologist at the University of Louisville, and says he is working hard to get the drug into the hands of possible patients.
“The reality of it was just as disappointing to us that once this was passed ‘yes it was legal to do so’ but there are many other things that must be in place first before we can proceed. So, we are working really hard, but it is going to take some time. “