Kansas has had historically some of the harshest marijuana laws in the country. However, the population does support the legalization of medical marijuana, and new legislation has been proposed repeatedly. Additionally, the legislature recently reduced penalties for marijuana possession.
Recreational Marijuana in Kansas
While Kansas’ marijuana laws continue to be among the strictest in the United States, in May 2016, a measure approved by Gov. Sam Brownback reduced penalties for possession. The penalty for first-time marijuana possession was reduced from a maximum jail sentence of 1 year to 6 months. A second possession offense was reduced from a low-level felony to a misdemeanor with a sentence of up to a year in jail. Subsequent offenses are susceptible to a prison sentence ranging 10 to 42 months.
Sale or distribution of any quantity of recreational marijuana remains a felony with the length of jail term depending on the quantity possessed. Selling marijuana within 1000 feet of a school zone results in a mandatory minimum sentence of 4 years.
Medical Marijuana in Kansas
Medical marijuana is illegal in Kansas, even for the most debilitating physical conditions. The same penalties apply as in the case of recreational marijuana possession and sale.
During the 2016 legislative session, Rep. John Wilson introduced a low-THC medicinal cannabis bill, and while it passed the Kansas House of Representatives, it did not manage to pass the Senate.
Consumption of CBD from Hemp Oil in Kansas
Hemp-derived CBD products are legal under Federal Law in the United States; however, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.
Cultivation of Cannabis in Kansas
Cultivation of cannabis in Kansas is a felony. Prison terms range from 46 to 204 months with the maximum fine being $500,000.
On April 20, 2018, Gov. Jeff Coyler, M.D. signed into law Senate Bill 263, which enacts the Alternative Crop Research Act. The law allows the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) to oversee an industrial hemp program that gives the “opportunity to grow a new specialty oilseed crop in Kansas and offers potential for diversification for Kansas farmers looking for an alternative crop.” Under the law, individual licensed growers and those working with universities or other parties are able to grow hemp for research and development purposes.
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