Kansas

Legislation History

Before the 2018 legislative session, Kansas was one of the strictest states in the U.S. when it came to cannabis, without a regulatory program and full of punitive legislation. Kansas first prohibited marijuana in 1927, as most states west of the Mississippi River banned the plant as a result of citizens’ growing fear of “reefer madness.” Since this ban, Kansas has barely changed its stance on the plant until very recent legislative sessions.

 

On April 20, 2018, Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer signed into law SB 263, also known as the Alternative Crop Research Act. The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA), in collaboration with Kansas’ public universities, would launch a program to investigate the viability of industrial hemp, defined as cannabis with no more than three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) THC content as a crop. SB 263 required the KDA to draft final regulations regarding the Industrial Hemp Research Program by Dec. 31, 2018, and will require review again by July 1, 2022.

 

Shortly after, on May 24, 2018, Colyer signed SB 282, which explicitly amended the legal definition of marijuana to exempt cannabidiol (CBD), thus legalizing broad access to CBD products so long as they contain zero percent (0%) THC. This makes access tricky, as most CBD products contain at least trace amounts of THC.

 

Proposed regulations for the Industrial Hemp Research Program were published November 16, 2018. The draft is currently available for review and public comment on the KDA’s website, with a public hearing scheduled for January 9, 2019.

 

The KDA will oversee the implementation of the Alternative Crop Research Act.

Where is it safe to purchase and consume?

Kansas residents can purchase CBD products either in stores or by ordering from an online vendor. CBD products are legal to possess and buy as long as the product contains zero percent (0%) THC. Individuals can buy CBD products in the form of oils, powders, pills, or lotions. These products are considered herbal supplements.

 

The manufacturer and seller must label CBD products with a list of all contents, a statement of CBD purity (the product contains no THC), and a health warning that consuming CBD could be dangerous to a user’s health.

 

It is a crime to possess any amount of cannabis with trace amounts of cannabinoids other than CBD. The first violation is a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by either a fine of up to $2,500 and/or one (1) year in prison. Subsequent offenses are level 4 felonies, punishable up to 26 months in prison with potential fines.

CBD products are legal to possess and purchase, so long as the product contains zero percent (0%) THC. Individuals can possess, travel with, and gift CBD products in the form of oils, powders, pills, or lotions. These products are considered herbal supplements.

 

In Kansas, getting caught with marijuana for personal use is a class A misdemeanor for the first and second convictions. This is punishable by jail time for up to one (1)year and/or up to $2,500 in fines. A third violation can earn a sentence of 10-52 months in prison and a fine depending on the circumstances of the arrest.  Possessing cannabis with intent to sell marijuana comes with more severe penalties.

 

Kansas law places no restrictions on where CBD can be consumed. CBD may not be smoked or vaporized in flower form, as many cannabis consumption accessories are criminalized as drug paraphernalia. Possession of paraphernalia for cannabis use is punishable with up to one (1) year in jail and/or a fine of $2,500.

Home Cultivation

Only license holders participating in Kansas’ upcoming Industrial Hemp Research Program are permitted to grow hemp.

 

Cultivating cannabis is a level 3 felony, punishable by up to three (3) years in prison. Further offenses move up to a level 2 and level 1 felony, respectively, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and hefty fines.

Medical Marijuana Registry

There is no medical marijuana program in Kansas, therefore there is no state regulatory body or registry information.

Qualifying Conditions

Kansas has no state-regulated medical program, but individuals can buy CBD products in the legalized forms that contain zero (0) THC.

Reciprocity

Any individual can buy CBD products. There is no requirement to be Kansas resident or to possess a medical marijuana card from another state.

Lab Testing

CBD products must be labeled by the manufacturer and seller to list a description of all contents, a statement of CBD purity, and a health warning that consuming CBD could be dangerous to a user’s health.

 

According to the proposed regulations for the Industrial Hemp Research Program, license holders must pay $45 for an initial sample collection and sample testing fee of $250 for each lab test. The lab test is to determine whether the hemp sample contains any THC. If a sample contains greater than three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) THC per weight, all hemp plants in the sample’s growing area must be destroyed.

Licensing for Growers, Manufacturers, Processors and Retailers

Proposed regulations for the Industrial Hemp Research Program were published November 16, 2018. The draft is currently available for review and public comment on the KDA’s website, with a public hearing scheduled for January 9, 2019.

 

The Kansas Department of Agriculture oversees and will annually license all participants in the pilot program (with fees that vary per license type). Entities can apply to become a:

  • Licensed research distributor to handle or transport hemp
  • Licensed research grower to cultivate, harvest, and store hemp
  • Licensed research processor to transform parts of the hemp plant into products)

 

Applications are not yet available, however, KDA offered pre-applications for the Industrial Hemp Research Program to determine interest and encourage favorable review. These pre-applications were due December 1, 2018. According to the proposed regulations, applications for the 2019 growing season are due no later than March 1, 2019.

 

Applicants are required to undergo comprehensive background checks to enroll in the program. Individuals convicted of a controlled substances felony are ineligible for licensure. The application fee for any license is $200, while the schedule of fees for an approved license is:

  • Licensed research distributor: $1,000
  • Licensed research grower: $2,000
  • Licensed research processor:
    • $3000, if processing fiber or grain
    • $6000, if processing flower

Public educational institutions and universities in Kansas are eligible to apply for a research license and are exempt from fees.

Participants licensed by the KDA are protected from drug possession charges if they follow the requirements outlined in the proposed regulations.

 

This page was last updated on December 19, 2018.