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.
However, in May 2019, Gov. Laura Kelly signed into law Senate Bill 28, also known as Claire and Lola’s Law, which allows the medical use of low-THC cannabis oils by profoundly ill people. The bill provides an affirmative defense against prosecution for possession and certain use of cannabis oil with no more than 5% THC to treat medical conditions and prohibits state agencies and political subdivisions from initiating child removal proceedings based on parent’s possession or use of low-THC products. The law takes effect July 1, 2019.
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.
In April 2019, Gov. Laura Kelly signed into law a bill that allows Kansas farmers to grow hemp for industrial use. The new law replaces a state program signed into law by then-Gov. Jeff Coyler a year prior that limited the cultivation of hemp to research purposes. Under the newest law, the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) is tasked with submitting a plan to the federal government for regulating commercial hemp production.
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