Gov. Beshear Provides First Team Kentucky Update of 2024

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 4, 2024) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear provided an update on economic development; medical cannabis; progress on Eastern Kentucky high-ground communities; open enrollment through kynect; protecting consumers; upcoming inclement weather; and the annual State of the Commonwealth address.

Economic Development
Gov. Beshear announced continued momentum within Kentucky’s manufacturing sector as Crown Verity USA, a Canadian-owned grill and cookware maker, will expand its operation in Warren County with a $9.7 million investment, creating 73 quality Kentucky jobs.

Medical Cannabis
Gov. Beshear announced significant progress by the Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program as it builds technical capabilities and a regulatory framework ahead of the full implementation of Senate Bill 47, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2025.

The Beshear administration filed 10 new regulations, which provide direction for how medical cannabis businesses, including cultivators, processors, producers, dispensaries and safety compliance facilities, will operate in the commonwealth. Kentuckians can read these regulations and find out how to participate in the regulatory process by visiting

The Governor announced a new partnership with Tyler Technologies and Metrc to meet requirements of the law and help establish the medical cannabis electronic monitoring system and patient/caregiver registry. The Board of Physicians and Advisors and the Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Workgroup also recently voted unanimously to recommend to the General Assembly to expand the list of qualifying conditions. On Dec. 21, 2023, the board and the workgroup sent separate letters to Senate and House leadership recommending the General Assembly expand the qualifying conditions in the 2024 session.

Sam Flynn, executive director of the Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program, joined Gov. Beshear to announce additions to the program’s executive team, which include a director for licensure and access, a director of enforcement and compliance and an education and outreach coordinator. The program has also started to hire merit staff positions.

The program team has also launched an interactive cannabis business zoning tool, which will be hosted on its website. The law prohibits cannabis businesses from locating their business within 1,000 feet of a primary or secondary school or daycare and allows local governments to issue additional zoning restrictions.

To view the zoning tool, find more information about the Medical Cannabis Program or view job openings, visit

Environmental Assessments Approved for Two High-Ground Communities
The Governor announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development approved the environmental assessments completed on the Chestnut Ridge and Olive Branch sites in Knott County. This approval allows Kentucky to use state funds and work with nonprofit partners to begin the construction of homes for flood victims.

The Chestnut Ridge High-Ground Community, located along Chestnut Ridge Drive near Soft Shell, east of the Knott County Sportsplex, will have more than 100 acres of single-family residences, with walking trails, outdoor recreation areas and more. The Olive Branch site, on a former surface coal mine near the Knott-Perry County line in Talcum, is envisioned to have dozens of homes, senior apartments and park and recreation space on 75 acres donated by Shawn and Tammi Adams.

kynect Update
In October 2023, the Governor announced that Kentuckians could shop and enroll for health and dental coverage on the state-based marketplace, kynect. Today, he reported that more Kentuckians are enrolled since sign-ups began last November. As of Dec. 15, 2023, nearly 68,700 Kentuckians had enrolled and started receiving coverage on New Year’s Day. As of Jan. 2, over 71,400 Kentuckians have enrolled for coverage and will be eligible for coverage starting Feb. 1.

“Three years ago, I made it a priority to relaunch kynect, because I believe health care is a basic human right,” said Gov. Beshear. “Today, I’m pleased to see so many Kentuckians taking advantage and receiving the benefits they need and deserve.”

The last day to sign up and enroll for coverage on the marketplace is Jan. 16. For kynect enrollment assistance, visit or call 855-459-6328. Kentuckians can also get help at a local Department for Community-Based Services office from a kynector or a licensed health insurance agent.

Consumer Protection
Gov. Beshear said that the state’s Department of Insurance’s Division of Consumer Protection staff have been working to provide positive outcomes for Kentuckians facing a dispute with their health, life, auto, homeowners and commercial insurance policies. Last year, from January to November, they received 3,713 complaints for investigation and recovered more than $21.7 million for Kentucky families.

“These funds are going back in the pockets of our people. Kentuckians have gotten back premiums, payments for property damage and damage to automobiles and health coverage claims that were previously denied,” said Gov. Beshear. “Our team doesn’t stop there. They monitor these complaints for trends, and when an insurance company is consistently breaking the law, they take action. Thanks to their help, Kentuckians do not have to navigate insurance disputes alone.”

For more information about our Consumer Protection Division or to file a complaint, visit or call 502-564-6034 or the toll-free number 800-595-6053.

Inclement Winter Weather
The Governor encouraged Kentuckians to prepare for upcoming inclement winter weather. For Kentuckians north of Interstate Highway 64, snow accumulation is anticipated starting late Friday and into Saturday. Visit for road updates. For more information and tips to prepare for the winter, visit

Gov. Beshear Gives State of the Commonwealth Address
Wednesday, Gov. Beshear delivered his annual State of the Commonwealth Address and said that, “thanks to the strength of our people and our red-hot economy, the state of our commonwealth is stronger than it has ever been.” For the complete text of the Governor’s address, which was delivered before a joint session of the General Assembly, click here. The speech can be viewed on the Governor’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Team Kentucky All-Stars
The Governor named the four incredible children he recognized at the annual State of the Commonwealth address as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars. Paisley Chaffins lost her father, Prestonsburg Police Officer Jacob Chaffins, in the line of duty. Khyree Willie and his family lost their home during the tornadoes in Western Kentucky in 2021. Caleb and Maggie White lost their home during the floods in Eastern Kentucky in 2022.

“As we get to work over these next four years, we are going to be thinking about Paisley, Khyree, Caleb and Maggie and the inspiration they provide us each day to wake up ready to build a better world for them,” said Gov. Beshear. “I am looking forward to 2024 because it is our time to turn the last four years of progress into decades of prosperity.”