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Kansas and Cannabis. What You Should Know

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For anyone who lives in Kansas, it can be confusing and overwhelming to understand the laws surrounding marijuana in the state. Knowing whether medical cannabis is legal in Kansas can be a vital piece of information for those who live there or even those who plan to visit or move to the state.

We’ve pulled together all the specifics on medical marijuana in Kansas, allowing the state’s citizens and visitors to be informed on the current status of legality and usage of medical cannabis.

Is Medical Marijuana Allowed in the State of Kansas?

Currently, medical marijuana is not legal in the state of Kansas for any reason. However, there are near-constant efforts to change this fact and get medical cannabis legalized for Kansas citizens who need it. In fact, Kansas State Senate Bill 158 is currently being considered by the Kansas government.

With the potential of medical cannabis on the horizon for Kansas, it’s more important than ever to understand what legalization would look like and mean for citizens in the state. The current bills being considered include allowing the purchase of up to a 30-day supply of cannabis for cardholders.

Kansas Medical Marijuana Application

While medical marijuana isn’t currently legal in Kansas, it’s never too early to become educated on what the application would likely look like in the event that legalization becomes a reality. When Kansas legalizes medical marijuana, their card application will likely look similar to those in the states who have already legalized medical cannabis.

Hopeful applicants should expect to have a variety of supplemental forms to go with their application. These forms will likely include proof of residency in Kansas as well as written documentation that proves eligibility by a certified doctor in the state. Also, applications will most likely have a fee that will go along with them. The fee amount varies by state, but they don’t exceed $100.

In addition to these likely requirements, current proposals include forbidding anyone with a felony on their record from applying for a medical cannabis license, unless the record was expunged ten or more years before the application is submitted.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Kansas

Assuming medical cannabis becomes legal in Kansas, there will be a process overseen by a department of the state government that will receive and review all applications for medical cards. In order to get a medical marijuana card, patients will likely have to visit a certified doctor to determine their diagnosis of a qualifying condition.

The current bills that are being considered by the Kansas government include around 20 qualifying conditions. Some of those conditions include:

After receiving the written referral from a doctor, patients would have 90 days to put in their application for a medical cannabis card. From there, applicants would wait to hear back on if they are approved and, if they are, would receive their medical card in the mail.

Are Edibles Legal in Kansas?

If medical marijuana becomes legal in Kansas, it’s still unclear as to whether edibles would be part of the legalization. The current bill being considered doesn’t allow for the use of smoking or vaping cannabis for medical purposes. In addition, it calls to limit the types of cannabis that are appealing to children. However, whether that includes edibles remains to be seen.

Going by past states who have legalized marijuana, it’s also unclear. Some states allow edibles immediately, while others legalize them later on or not at all. Only time will tell if edibles will be allowed under medical marijuana use in Kansas.

Cultivate Edibles in Kansas

Kansas laws currently do not allow any cultivation of marijuana, including creating edibles for personal use or distribution. If a person is found to be cultivating any form of marijuana, they face the potential of time in jail as well as hefty fines.

Kansas has rather strict sentences for those found cultivating marijuana. Anyone found with between four and 50 plants will be charged with a felony and face 46 to 83 months in jail and a fine of up to $300,000. If a person is found with between 50 and 100 plants, they will be charged with a felony that comes with 92 to 144 months in jail and a fine of up to $500,000. Finally, anyone who is growing 100 or more plants will be charged with a felony and receive at least four years in prison but up to seven years. In addition, they will be charged a fine of up to $500,000.

If Kansas chooses to legalize medical cannabis, it’s unclear whether that will include cultivating personal marijuana or creating personal products such as edibles. Some states allow medical patients to grow their own marijuana, while others require all marijuana to come from state-approved dispensaries.

However, if they do choose to allow cardholders to cultivate their own cannabis, there will likely be limits on how many plants are allowed and where the plants can be placed to grow. Of course, we won’t know the details of how the Kansas government plans to handle personal cultivation until they pass a law for the legalization of medical cannabis.

Kansas Recreational Dispensaries

Currently, there are no recreational dispensaries in Kansas since recreational use of marijuana is still illegal in the state. While there is a push from citizens to legalize recreational marijuana, it is still unlikely in Kansas while medical marijuana has yet to become legal for the state.

If Kansas were to legalize recreational marijuana in the future, there would likely be an application process for those wishing to open up a dispensary. These application processes include finding an approved area of land for the business, passing background checks, meeting the required citizenship, and paying required fees. There’s currently no way to know what this would look like for Kansas, but the future may hold these dispensaries for the state.

Likewise, medical marijuana dispensaries are illegal right now in Kansas. If the current bill passes, there will be a set number of medical dispensaries allowed to open. Again, we can’t know the specific requirements for medical dispensaries until they become legal, but much of the application process for a dispensary license would be the same for medical as explained above for recreational.

Can Kansas Doctors Prescribe Medical Marijuana?

Currently, Kansas doctors are unable to prescribe or recommend the use of medical cannabis for their patients. However, when medical marijuana becomes legal in the state, that is likely to change.

Most medical card applications require applicants to have written documentation from a practicing physician in their state that says they are diagnosed with a condition that qualifies for medical marijuana. Currently, it’s expected that Kansas will follow this example if and when they legalize marijuana, meaning that the state’s physicians will be able to prescribe or recommend medical cannabis upon legalization.

Some states require physicians to go through specific training on medical cannabis in order to be qualified to make official recommendations. Only time will tell if Kansas will be one of those states when legalization occurs.

Kansas Medical Marijuana Bill

There have been many proposed bills for medical marijuana over the years in the state of Kansas. However, as mentioned above, there is one bill being considered in the current lawmaking session. SB158 is designed to allow for the legalization of medical cannabis for those with qualifying conditions in the state of Kansas.

While it’s exciting to have this bill being seriously considered, there are still some hang-ups that may keep it from being a sure thing. Some of the areas where the House and the Senate don’t currently agree include:

  • The limitations of the list of qualifying conditions, as well as the list of conditions itself
  • The length of time a person must live in Kansas before being eligible to receive a medical marijuana business license
  • The payment process for purchasing medical cannabis
  • The amount for license fees based on employee status
  • The eligibility requirements for licensing

While seeing this list may be disheartening, Kansas citizens shouldn’t lose hope yet. There are a number of pieces of the bill that the two groups are either willing to compromise on or have agreed on. Now, it’s just a waiting game to see how the Senate responds to the House’s feedback on SB158.

Takeaway

Kansas is one of only 13 other states in America that has not allowed for the legalization of medical marijuana. However, there are current efforts being made to change this and allow those Kansas citizens with qualifying medical conditions to be able to legally obtain cannabis.

With the potential for medical marijuana laws to change in the near future, it’s more important than ever for Kansas citizens to stay up to date on the potential laws and regulations that would be set in place when medical marijuana is legalized. This knowledge will help anyone looking to benefit from the legalization be ready to follow the steps needed to receive a medical card in Kansas.

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