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Will States Impacted By Coronavirus Turn To Marijuana Legalization?

States still searching for the best path forward in balancing economic and health concerns amid the continuing coronavirus outbreak also face another challenge once businesses reopen: recovering billions lost in state tax revenue, as well as millions of lost jobs.

In the long term, marijuana legalization might provide an answer. Even in historically conservative Texas, where marijuana is not legal but has been decriminalized, a movement is growing to legalize cannabis. Many believe the resulting tax revenue can help the state recover.


Kansas moves one step closer to commercial hemp program

The process of establishing a new commercial hemp program in Kansas has taken a critical first step.

The Hutchinson News reports that the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the plan by the Kansas Department of Agriculture to change the state’s research-based commercial hemp program to a commercial program.

This approval makes it possible for farmers to grow hemp without being under the umbrella of a research program. Once this program is approved by the state, farmers will not have to make formal research proposals in order to grow the non-hallucinogenic crop.

But the program must jump through several more hurdles to change status. These include state-based rules and regulations.


Kansas Committee Rejects Lower Penalties for Marijuana Possession

In a disappointing and borderline archaic move Kansas’ House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee voted 7 to 4 to reject a bill that would have simply made marijuana possession a misdemeanor regardless of how many times someone is caught with it, rather than a felony as it is current for third convictions (punishable by up to 14 months in prison). The move would not have legalized or even decriminalized possession, just prevented the personal possession of small amounts from being a felony.

The bill initially said offenders now in prison for marijuana possession would be released, but the committee removed that provision from the measure. Still, the committee rejected the measure. Chairman Russ Jennings (R) said the debate on the idea is over for the year.


Kansas Lawmakers Reject Proposal to Reform Marijuana Laws, Reduce Penalties

Kansas legislators aren’t ready to declare that marijuana possession never should be a felony, rejecting proposals Monday to lower penalties for third-time offenders and to release others from prison.


Producers talk fast-growing hemp industry

Farmers, educators, city leaders and academics came together this week to learn about growing hemp in Kansas.

This first annual Kansas State Industrial Hemp Conference was held Feb. 4 at the Kansas State Research and Extension Center in Wichita.

Researchers from K-State spoke about the difficulty of growing hemp. Cary Rivard, a K-State researcher based at the Olathe Horticulture Center, spoke to the crowd of more than 225 people about the test results of growing 400 hemp plants on 0.45 acres at his center.

“This is one of the fastest-growing plants I’ve ever seen,” Rivard said.


Kansas takes a step toward medical marijuana as lawmakers recommend having a look

As a growing number of states legalized some form of medical marijuana — now up to 33 — Kansas always remained a firm opponent.

Legislation to end prohibition never seemed to get very far before opposition from law enforcement and parts of the medical community brought it to a halt. Any change would have faced a near-certain governor’s veto, anyway.

That’s beginning to change.


Is Kansas finally ready to legalize medical marijuana?

Kansans are telling lawmakers they want medical marijuana. In 2020, legislators should recognize the momentum that’s building and authorize limited access to cannabis.

A special legislative committee heard testimony Wednesday about the issue. More than two dozen groups and individuals provided oral or written support for medical marijuana in Kansas.

Supporters include patients, nurses, professors and activist groups. Some told the committee they use marijuana to relieve chronic pain and disease.


Kansas hemp growers experiencing struggles, successes in first year

The newest crop in Kansas is bringing mixed results for farmers. 2019 is the first year people in Kansas are allowed to grow hemp.

“Consistently lot of farmers having trouble getting growing to start,” said James DeWitt, co-founder of United American Hemp in Olathe.

Weather conditions and access to hemp seed have been a struggle for some growers.

Right now, the only people that are allowed to grow hemp are those that applied to perform research to the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Research varies from types of seed, soil, to water usage.

DeWitt is researching how hemp reacts to different types of light.


Cannabis oil with low THC now legal to possess in Kansas

It’s no plan for legalization, but it’s something; as of July 1, qualified patients will be able to use low THC cannabis oil in Kansas. Claire and Lola’s Law a.k.a. House Bill 2244 does not allow for legal sale or production of the oil, but individuals and families who meet requirements will be able to leave the state to purchase it, then come back home to administer the medicine. 

Prior to the law’s passage, Kansas was one of only four states without a comprehensive recreational or medical marijuana program — despite the fact that 18 pieces of medical marijuana legislation have been introduced since 2006. 


Kansas Governor signs CBD/THC Bill into law

Early this week Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed Senate Bill 28 into law, which provides an affirmative defense against prosecution for possession of certain cannabidiol products containing tetrahydrocannabinol in specific circumstances.


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