(March 1, 2019) – The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, chaired by Senator Gene Suellentrop (R-Wichita), met this morning to review Senate Bill 113. The bill would enact the Veterans First Medical Cannabis Act by permitting a health care provider to issue a written certification to a patient with whom the health care provider has a valid health care provider-patient relationship. It would establish the Cannabis Regulatory Commission within the Kansas Department of Revenue, tasked with adopting rules and regulations as it pertains to medical cannabis growers, distributors and medical use by patients. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment would establish a process to certify eligibility for applicants and issue identification cards to individuals with qualified medical needs, so they can receive and possess the appropriate cannabis product.
The bill would establish licensure criteria for medical cannabis growers and distributors, as well as impose a tax of $115 per pound upon the privilege of growing and harvesting medical cannabis to be deposited in the Medical Cannabis Harvest Fund in KDOR. A $3.00 per ounce tax would be imposed upon the privilege of selling or dispensing medical cannabis consumer products by a licensed medical cannabis dispensary. Monthly returns would be filed with the director of taxation to be deposited in the Medical Cannabis Dispensary Fund in the Kansas Board of Pharmacy. Medical cannabis consumer products would be exempt from sales tax when lawfully distributed.
Four legislators spoke in support of the bill – Senator Tom Holland (D-Baldwin City), Senator David Haley (D-Kansas City), Representative Cindy Holscher (R-Olathe) and Representative Jim Karleskint (R-Tonganoxie). In addition to a number of individuals speaking in support of the bill, the Kansas Farmers Union, Bleeding Kansas Advocates, the Kansas chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and the Kansas Cannabis Industry Association all spoke in support of the bill.
The chair ended the meeting after questions for the proponents. Testimony from the opponents will be heard on Monday.