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Kansas House approves legalizing medical marijuana

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 4:17 PM CDT|Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 4:20 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (KWCH) - Update: Medical marijuana is one step closer to being legalized in Kansas. The House of Representatives voted 79-42 to approve the measure.

Kansas remains one of only three states without a regulated cannabis program. This is the first time a bill of this nature has made it this far in the state’s legislature.

The bill sets up regulations for growing, dispensing and use of medical marijuana. Patients would need to be registered with the state and have a doctor sign off.

Rep. Blake Carpenter, a Republican from Derby, has spent much of his time working on the bill this session. He said a majority of Kansans support some form of medical marijuana.

“Medical marijuana for me was not one of those issues that I would feel like I would need to go run up a hill and die on just even a few years ago. After having many conversations with my constituents that a lot of them would like to be able to use,” said Rep. Carpenter.

The bill makes more than 20 medical conditions eligible for medical marijuana. Those include diseases like Alzheimer’s, cancer, and PTSD. It would also allow KDHE to approve additional conditions.

The bill now heads to the Kansas Senate, but the Senate isn’t expected to consider it in the final days of the annual session. A spokesperson for Senate President Ty Masterson told The Associated Press that a budget bill and school funding legislation have taken priority this week.

The Kansas House will debate the medical marijuana bill on Thursday.

According to the General Orders released Wednesday afternoon, the House will take up the bill to create the Kansas medical marijuana regulation act, at 10 a.m.

Earlier this week, the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs approved the measure to send it to the full House, a first in Kansas. If passed, the medical marijuana bill would allow the state to license and regulate the sale of medical marijuana. It would need to clear both the House and Senate before the end of this session.

The House is also set to take up a bill sent over from the committee on regulating the sale of kratom products “as a part of and supplemental to the Kansas food, drug and cosmetic act.”

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