Cannabis industry advocates have formed the Kansas Cannabis Chamber of Commerce despite broad medical cannabis reforms failing in the state Legislature earlier this year, the Kansas Reflector reports. Kansas is bordered by Colorado, which has legalized cannabis for adults, and Oklahoma and Missouri, which have legalized medical cannabis access.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (R) in May signed a bill legalizing cannabis-derived oils with less than 5% THC for a limited number of patients. A more comprehensive medical cannabis bill was approved last session by the House but was not taken up by the Senate.
Heather Steppy, president of the new chamber of commerce and co-owner of the CBD business KC Hemp Co., noted in an interview with the Reflector Podcast that the cannabis industry “comes with a lot of nuances” and that the organization would advocate for industry reforms.
“We’re not inventing the wheel. We’re just trying to, you know, grease it up and get it working for Kansas. … I mean, banking is a problem. Marketing is a problem. Choosing the name is a problem. So, we really just want to be able to provide guidance and consultation to those who want to get into this industry and really help lay the groundwork for when medical cannabis does become a thing in Kansas.”—Steppy via the Reformer Podcast
According to an October 2020 Kansas Speaks poll cited by Marijuana Moment, 66.9% of Kansans support legalizing medical cannabis, with 22.2% opposed, and 10.9% undecided.
The bill approved by the House would cover patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, and other debilitating conditions. It would also allow cultivation and sales by private businesses and allow universities to conduct cannabis research. Under the law, patients would be allowed to neither smoke nor vape cannabis nor grow their own.
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