March 26, 2021

Kansas Will Vote on a Medical Marijuana Bill

March 26, 2021
Kansas lawmakers will soon vote on a medical marijuana bill.

Soon Kansas lawmakers will have the ability to vote on a medical marijuana bill that could make them the 37th state to legalize medical cannabis.

Kansans’ View on Medical Marijuana

The Kansas House committee has been working on a total of 3 different marijuana bills that have now been filed. They are ready to vote on these issues as those in the panel have listened to the testimony of marijuana supporters and opponents. These different marijuana amendments include protections for nurses who treat patients with medical marijuana, giving regulatory authority of the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (instead of the Agriculture Department), and prohibitions on methods of  consumption such as smoking or vaping. 

Kansas is one of six states in which cannabis is  fully illegal, including CBD.. Those states, surprisingly, aren’t clustered together. In fact, all the states that surround Kansas have some form of medical marijuana program, or in Nebraska’s case, it’s at least decriminalized. West of Kansas you have Colorado, in which recreational marijuana has been fully legalized since 2012. South of Kansas is Oklahoma, where medical marijuana patients can go to one of, not even joking, thousands of dispensaries to pick up medicine. 

In due time, I wouldn’t doubt that medical marijuana passes in Kansas, but it’s not looking so hot as of right now. Representative Brenda Landwhr (R) stated, “You don’t have immediate revenues, it’s still illegal by the feds, it’s a cash business which makes it sometimes become a corrupt business. People who want marijuana legalized can get Congress to do it.” 

Medical Marijuana Funding Medicaid

Recently, Governor Laura Kelly (D) came up with an idea that would kill two birds with one stone. Her thoughts? Have medical marijuana revenue cover the cost of the Medicaid expansion that’s bound to happen. Kelly said in a news conference on Monday, “This proposal not only allows us to recover from the economic uncertainty of the pandemic but emerge from it stronger than before.”

While her thinking is in the right direction, parties on both sides of this issue have underlying problems with this proposal. 

Marijuana advocates fear that linking these two bills together could ultimately lead to the GOP supermajority, killing them both. Erin Montroy, who is co-president of the Kansas Cannabis Business Association commented, “I am not going to say that something needs to be stripped out of her bill. I will say that i think keeping them together may kill two issues for no reason.” 

But there are others like Karen O’Keefe who do believe this would provide sufficient support to fund the Medicaid expansion. 

Karen O’Keefe, is the Director of State Policies at the Marijuana Policy Project, and she mostly agrees with the Governor’s proposition; however, she has a different take on it. O’Keefe stated, “We tend to think that if a government wants to raise money on cannabis it should be adult-use not medical sales that are taxed for revenue. It’s already people who are seriously ill and have financial shortfalls.” 

Her statement is clear: generate revenue by making adult-use recreational marijuana legal. 

Daniel Shafton, who is with the business association, is someone who believes both sides could come to a compromise. “It’s our job to put out a balanced bill that the body will agree to vote on. Because if it’s too far in one direction, restrictive like Ohio, or too far in another direction, open like Oklahoma, there are going to be senators that object.” As long as Kansas gets some sort of medical marijuana program we will be on the right track for a better future. 

Additional Resources:

At The Weed Blog, we strive to produce the latest online news resources regarding marijuana. We also review various strains of cannabis or other edible counterparts. We are committed to helping you find valuable information about marijuana on our website. With marijuana laws constantly changing, learn from us what you can do to promote activism in your area. Otherwise, consider these other top-tier articles regarding cannabis:

Missouri Revoking Licenses Of Medical Marijuana Operators That Didn’t Meet Opening Deadlines

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