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The State of Medical Marijuana in Kansas
2020 Grade: F
2019-2020 Improvements and Recommendations
Kansas has been slow in providing safe and legal access to medical cannabis for Kansas patients. Though Governor Kelly continues to express support for medical cannabis, legislation to provide a functional system for patients has not yet reached the Governor’s office. A bill that would create such a program (HB 2017) failed to gain traction in 2020.20 USDA approved Kansas’ hemp production plan in 2020, providing a pathway for in-state production of hemp-derived CBD for Kansas medical cannabis patients. As Kansas looks to 2021 ASA encourages state lawmakers to initiate work focused on organization of a comprehensive medical cannabis program. Such a program should provide legal protections to patients related to employment, housing, education and family law and develop an in-state production system for lab-tested medical cannabis and cannabis products that can be made available to patients at legal retailers. ASA also recommends that lawmakers authorize patients to cultivate cannabis at home to reduce costs to patients.
In 2018, the Sunflower State exempted cannabidiol from the Kansas Controlled Substances Act. A year later Governor Laura Kelley signed into law SB 28, which allows for an affirmative defense for the possession of CBD medical cannabis oils. This affirmative defense extends to both criminal proceedings, as well as those dealing with child custody.
Surveyed patients report that it is unacceptable for medical cannabis to be illegal in Kansas, as the state only provides CBD oil. Some surveyed patients would like to use medical cannabis products with THC to relieve their pain and treat addiction to opioids.