Capitol Comments Articles
Federal and State Affairs Conference Begins Working through Medical Marijuana Legislation

Hemp Oil (April 27, 2022) – Today, members of the Federal and State Affairs Conference Committee began meeting to work through the differences between the House's position on a proposal related to medical marijuana and the proposal in the Senate Committee. The Senate's position is contained in Senate Bill 560, while the House's position is contained in House Substitute for Senate Bill 158.

The legislation creates the Kansas Medical Marijuana Regulation Program, allowing a medical provider to prescribe the use of medical marijuana for the following conditions:

  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome 
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 
  • Cancer
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy 
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Epilepsy or another seizure disorder
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Lupus
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus 
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Spinal cord disease or injury
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury 
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Chronic and severe or intractable pain
  • Any other disease or condition adopted by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment secretary and approved by the Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee

The legislation allows for medical marijuana in the following forms:

  • Oils
  • Tinctures
  • Plant Material
  • Edibles
  • Patches
  • Any other form approved by the secretary of revenue.

The bill prohibits smoking, combustion or vaporization of medical marijuana. The legislation specifies that plant material cannot have a tetrahydrocannabinol content of more than 35 percent in its final dispensed form and extracts cannot have a THC content of more than 70 percent in their final dispensed form. The bill mandates the KDHE secretary to provide a registration of patients and caregivers issued cards certifying the patient to access medical marijuana. It also outlines certain instances where a patient would not be allowed a medical marijuana card such as age restrictions, convicted felons and several other provisions.

The bill outlines the licensing and oversight process for distributors and creates a 15-member advisory committee in the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The committee would oversee what conditions are deemed qualifying medical conditions and review the list of conditions every three years.

The bill requires a patient be issued a statement from a physician certifying the following:

  • The physician-patient relationship exists with said patient
  • The patient has been diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition
  • The physician has requested a K-TRACS report of said patient covering the previous 12 months
  • The physician has informed said patient of the risks and benefits of medical marijuana as it relates to his/her medical history
  • The physician has informed said patient they believe the benefits outweigh the risks for use of medical marijuana

The bill outlines the process and application requirements, including fees, for the patient or caregiver to then apply to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The bill gives departments the authority to issue penalties for violations, including a fraudulent application.

The conference committee is working through the major differences between the House and Senate of the proposal, including:

  • The effective dates of July 2022 or July 2023
  • Conflict of interest provisions and penalties
  • Differing dates for the requirement of rules and regulations from the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts
  • The list of approved medical conditions
  • The patient registry information and if it should include requiring an electronically scannable identification
  • Reciprocity with regards to possession
  • Residency requirements for the ownership of a retailer
  • If counties can opt-out
  • Fees rates
  • Licensing of retailer employees
  • If video monitoring is required at all retail locations
  • If an agreement with Native American tribes is required
  • If there will be a discrimination clause for the sale or lease on real estate transactions related to the business

The conference committee will continue debate and discussions on the topic. The proposal requires a final vote by both the House and Senate chambers.