History of CBD and Cannabis In Kansas
It’s currently illegal to own cannabis or any of its derivatives in the state of Kansas; in fact, possession of even minimal amounts is treated as a misdemeanor crime, incurring large fines, jail time, and a criminal record.
As a former large producer of hemp, Kansas began to cut off its economy from local cannabis agriculturalists before the thirties. The state is even considered one of the first and most active in establishing strict, statewide anti-cannabis laws throughout the United States, beating out most other Southern states.
Many of the recent unsuccessful moves to decriminalize cannabis owes to the historic aggression Kansas officials have held towards the hemp industry, as well as the influence of recurrent nationwide waves of drug panic.
Cannabis, CBD, and Kansas
After Kansas outlawed cannabis, most states west of the Mississippi quickly followed suit. Soon enough, a large aggregate of Southern states consolidated their drug policy to vy for the harshest punishments possible in the twentieth century.
It would take nearly one hundred years before the state opened up the conversation about cannabis again. Decades of well-publicized research showing the health benefits of cannabis and a national groundswell of mainstream acceptance went a long way towards shoving cannabis into the spotlight.
Between 2013 and 2015, there were several failed attempts to implement a medical marijuana program throughout Kansas. One bill wanted to grant medical marijuana cardholders access to dispensaries, as well as allowing patients to own 12 plants or 6 ounces of marijuana for therapeutic use. However, this was shot down in committee.
Just two years later, an equivalent bill passed in the House. Celebration was short lived when it was immediately stalled in Senate. Part of the reason it failed was because the bill would also decrease penalties for cannabis possession and fund a study on industrial hemp.
When nothing worked out on the state level, local lawmakers took decriminalization into their own hands. In 2015, the city of Wichita voted to decriminalize cannabis and the measure passed.
The local resolution reduced first time possession fees to a mere $50 fine, rather than the year of jail time and $2500 penalty defined under state law. The Attorney General even threatened to sue the city if the measure passed.
Despite legal pressure, the ordinance was unanimously approved later on in 2017. Moreover, the Wichita city council demonstrated how cannabis law can be dealt with on the local level rather than defaulting to statewide policy.
Over the next few years, it’s likely we’ll see more municipalities defining cannabis regulation that configures more closely to local needs, wants, and contexts.
Meanwhile, CBD oil is slowly becoming fully legal throughout Kansas under a new house bill signed by the Governor in May of 2018. However, no legal, health, or agricultural framework has been set up to enforce CBD policy, resulting in a wide open CBD marketplace throughout the state.