Kansas Marijuana Laws 2024

  1. Kansas Cannabis
  2. Kansas Marijuana Laws

Key Points

  • Medical cannabis and recreational marijuana are illegal in Kansas
  • Two bills are pending in the Kansas legislature to legalize medical cannabis. However, both bills, if passed, cannot become law until at least 2024
  • Kansas allows residents to use CBD products with no THC
  • Kansas law provides a legal defense for patients with debilitating conditions who possess CBD products containing no more than 5% THC
  • Although the state recently amended its law to reduce penalties for first-time offenders possessing cannabis, they are still subject to up to 6 months imprisonment and a $1,000 fine

Is Marijuana Legal in Kansas?

No, marijuana is illegal in Kansas. The state lists marijuana as a Schedule I substance under Section 65-4105 of the 2012 Statute and prohibits the recreational and medical use of the drug.

However, pursuant to a 2019 law, Kansas permits patients with debilitating medical conditions to use cannabidiol treatment preparations to treat their conditions, provided they have written recommendations from Kansas physicians. The written recommendation serves as an affirmative defense to prosecution pertaining to the possession of CBD treatment preparations. A CBD treatment preparation is defined as a CBD-rich oil with a THC concentration of no more than 5% relative to the CBD concentration in the product. Note that a debilitating medical condition is a medically diagnosed chronic disease or condition causing serious impairment of strength or ability to function.

Kansas Marijuana Laws in 2024

Cannabis remains illegal in Kansas. However, there are legal moves in process in the state legislature to legalize medical cannabis. Two bills have been introduced in 2023 toward legalizing medical cannabis and one relating to decriminalizing cannabis possession:

SB 171: Senate Bill 171, also known as the Veterans First Medical Cannabis Act, was introduced in the Kansas Senate on February 7, 2023. The Bill proposes to legalize medical marijuana in Kansas. The Bill was introduced in the Kansas Senate on February 07, 2023, and would allow for the cultivation, distribution, sale, possession, and use of medical marijuana by patients who have been diagnosed with qualifying conditions. Some qualifying conditions under the Bill include cancer, PTSD, glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis.

SB 171 proposes to allow qualifying patients to have an "adequate supply" of medical cannabis. According to the Bill, adequate supply refers to an amount of medical cannabis product possessed by a patient or caregivers that is no more than reasonably necessary to ensure uninterrupted availability for 3 months.

SB 171 proposed the imposition of a 15% excise tax on all medical cannabis product sales in the state. Revenue from the tax would also be used to fund several programs that would benefit veterans in Kansas. The Bill prioritizes veterans in Kansas seeking medical cannabis by allowing only persons currently in military service or individuals who have been honorably discharged from such service to be granted medical marijuana cards for the first 60 days following the effective date of the Act. SB 171 has been referred to the Committee on Federal and State Affairs, and its fate is uncertain

HB 2363: House Bill 2363 is a bill that was introduced in the Kansas Legislature in February 2023. The Bill relates to crimes involving controlled substances, specifically marijuana. It provides for the release of persons convicted for offenses involving marijuana from their sentence and allows for the expungement of convictions, arrest records, and associated biological samples.

The bill specifies that any person who is serving a sentence for the following offenses would be discharged from such offenses when the only substance involved was marijuana:

  • Any offense described in Article 57 of Chapter 21 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated and related amendments
  • A violation of an ordinance of a city or resolution of a county that prohibits the acts prohibited by an offense described in Article 57 of chapter 21 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated and related amendments

Also, any person who is currently in the custody of the secretary of corrections serving a term of probation, assignment to a community correctional services program suspension of sentence, non-prison sanction, parole or post-release supervision, serving a sentence in county jail, or on supervision by any municipality solely for an offense described in subsection (a) must be immediately released from custody or supervision. HB 2363 has been referred to the Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice and all deliberations on it adjourned.

SB 135: Senate Bill 135 is a proposed act that aims to regulate the cultivation, processing, distribution, sale, and use of medical cannabis in Kansas. The Bill was introduced to the Senate on February 1, 2023. Per SB 135:

  • Patients would be able to buy and use medical cannabis if they have any of the approved medical conditions
  • Patients could purchase and possess up to a 30-day supply of cannabis
  • The use of smoked and vaporized cannabis products would still be illegal
  • A physician may recommend medical cannabis for one of 21 conditions, including cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain
  • A $400 fine would punish possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana for unregistered individuals with a doctor's recommendation for medical marijuana
  • The Department of Health and Environment would be responsible for regulating the program's patient-facing aspects, such as the issuance of medical cannabis identification cards
  • Regulators would have until January 1, 2025, to implement rules for registering patients, issuing medical cannabis IDs, licensing businesses, and defining a 30-day marijuana supply, among other rules
  • The tax rate on medical marijuana products would be 10%
  • After funding program administration expenses, tax revenue would be allocated to a local medical cannabis enforcement fund (20%) and a state medical cannabis enforcement fund (10% or up to $2.5 million per year). The remainder would be remitted to the general fund
  • The maximum THC content of marijuana products was capped at 35% for flower, 60% for tinctures, oils, and concentrates, 3.5 grams for consumables, and 10 milligrams for patches

HB 2367: House Bill 2367 was introduced by Representative S. Miller on February 8, 2023 to establish regulation for adult-use marijuana in Kansas. If passed, it will provide rules for the cultivation, manufacturing, possession, and sales of cannabis. Since its introduction, HB 2367 has been referred to two different House committees and then its reading adjourned.

Timeline of Cannabis Law in Kansas

Cannabis is illegal in Kansas. However, the state has passed laws permitting the use of CBD products.

  • 2018: Governor Jeff Colyer signed SB 282 permitting the use of CBD products with no THC concentration
  • 2019: In 2019, Governor Laura Kelly signed Claire and Lola's Law, establishing an affirmative defense for individuals in possession of CBD treatment preparations. These preparations are CBD-rich oils containing no more than 5% THC

Federal Legalization of Weed in 2024

The United States has a protracted history with marijuana, with its roots tracing back to the Colonial Era. Hemp, a type of cannabis plant, was actively promoted by the government in the 17th Century for various industrial purposes such as rope, sails, and clothing. However, the production of hemp declined after the Civil War as imports replaced domestic production.

During the late 19th Century, marijuana gained popularity for its use in medicinal products and was openly sold in pharmacies. However, the tides turned in 1937 when Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act, effectively criminalizing marijuana. Subsequently, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) was enacted in 1970, consolidating federal laws pertaining to drugs and substances. Under the CSA, marijuana was classified as a Schedule I substance, indicating its perceived lack of accepted medical use, high potential for abuse, and absence of accepted safety under medical supervision.

In recent years, there have been significant developments in the legislative landscape surrounding marijuana in the United States. The House of Representatives passed the MORE (Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement) Act, while the Senate is currently working towards consensus on a bipartisan measure known as the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act.

Both the MORE Act and the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act propose removing marijuana from the Schedule I classification, acknowledging the need for a reevaluation of its legal status. Additionally, these acts introduce the concept of a federal cannabis excise tax and seek to provide relief for individuals with previous convictions related to certain cannabis offenses. However, there are differences between the bills in terms of their scope and regulatory approaches.

The MORE Act offers a more comprehensive federal regulatory system for cannabis, encompassing various aspects of its production, distribution, and use. On the other hand, the Senate bill grants greater regulatory authority to individual states, allowing them to shape their own cannabis policies within a broader federal framework.

Can I Use Cannabis in Kansas?

No, you cannot use cannabis in Kansas, as it is illegal to purchase or sell recreational and medical cannabis under state laws. Only CBD products are permitted to be sold by CBD dispensaries. You can also purchase CBD products with up to 5% THC.

How The Legal Sale Of Cannabis In Kansas Happens

Selling cannabis is illegal in Kansas.

Penalties for Marijuana-related Crimes in Kansas

It is illegal to possess cannabis in Kansas; the state stipulates various punishments for cannabis-related offenses.

Marijuana Possession For Personal Use In Kansas

Under Kansas law, CBD (cannabidiol) products that contain zero percent THC are explicitly exempt from being classified as marijuana. This exemption allows for the legal possession and sale of such products, provided they comply with relevant licensing regulations. The law does not specify any possession limits for these CBD products.

However, the possession of marijuana itself is considered a misdemeanor in Kansas. A first-time offense can lead to a maximum punishment of 6 months imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000. A subsequent offense is also classified as a misdemeanor.

If the possession of marijuana is deemed to be 450 grams or more, there is a rebuttable presumption of intent to distribute. This particular offense is considered a felony and carries a fine not exceeding $100,000, along with imprisonment ranging from 10 months of probation to 42 months of imprisonment.

In the case of subsequent convictions for possession of marijuana, the offense remains a felony. The punishment can include imprisonment for 10 months of probation to 42 months of imprisonment, along with a maximum fine of $100,000.

Marijuana Sale And Distribution In Kansas

In Kansas, the sale of marijuana is subject to different penalties based on the amount involved, as stated below.

  • Sale of less than 25 grams: This is considered a felony, which is punishable by between 14 months of probation and 51 months of imprisonment. Additionally, a fine not exceeding $300,000 may be imposed
  • Distribution of 25 to less than 450 grams: This offense is a felony carrying a punishment of between 46 and 83 months of imprisonment. Similarly, a fine not exceeding $300,000 may be imposed
  • Sale of 450 to less than 30 kilograms: This offense is also classified as a felony and carries a more severe punishment. The penalty for this offense ranges from 92 to 144 months of imprisonment. In addition, a fine not exceeding $500,000 may be imposed
  • Sale of 30 kilograms or more: This is considered a felony offense. The punishment for this offense ranges from 138 to 204 months of imprisonment. Similarly, a fine not exceeding $500,000 can be imposed

Note that selling marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school zone can lead to an increased level of penalties.

Marijuana Cultivation In Kansas

In Kansas, the cultivation of marijuana is subject to different penalties depending on the number of plants involved. Here is an overview of the penalties:

  • Cultivation of more than 4 to less than 50 plants: This offense is considered a felony. The punishment for cultivating between four and less than 50 plants ranges from 46 to 83 months of imprisonment. Additionally, a fine not exceeding $300,000 may be imposed
  • Cultivation of 50 to less than 100 plants: This offense is also classified as a felony and carries a more severe punishment. The penalty for cultivating between 50 and less than 100 plants ranges from 92 to 144 months of imprisonment. Similarly, a fine not exceeding $500,000 can be imposed
  • Cultivation of 100 or more plants: This offense is considered a serious felony offense. The punishment for cultivating 100 or more plants ranges from 138 to 204 months of imprisonment. Additionally, a fine not exceeding $500,000 may be imposed

Driving Under The Influence (DUI) Of Marijuana In Kansas

Kansas does not have a per se limit for marijuana use, unlike the 0.08% blood alcohol content limit for persons caught driving under the influence of alcohol. To convict a motorist of drugged driving (marijuana), the prosecutor must prove that cannabis use produced impairment to the point that the driver was incapable of driving safely. Blood test findings, expert testimony, slurred speech, and unsteady eye movements, as observed by the arresting officer, may be used to prove impairment.

Drugged driving fines are similar to drunk driving penalties in that they are dependent on variables, including past infractions and the THC concentration levels found in your system. Penalties include:

  • First Offense: Not less than 48 consecutive hours nor more than six months imprisonment, or 100 hours of community service; fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000; a minimum 48 consecutive hours of imprisonment or 100 hours of public service will be required as a condition probation or suspension of sentence
  • Second offense: Not less than 90 days nor more than one year’s imprisonment (at least five-day mandatory minimum); fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $1,500
  • Third Offense: Mandatory minimum of 90 days, but not more than one year's imprisonment; fine of 2,500; the individual convicted will not qualify for release on probation, probation, reduction of sentence, or parole until the individual has served at least 90 days imprisonment
  • Fourth and subsequent offenses (felony): Not less than 90 days or more than one year's imprisonment; fine of $2,500; the offender will not qualify for release on suspension, probation, or reduction of sentence or parole until the individual has served at least 90 days imprisonment; 72 consecutive hours imprisonment is required before an offender can be released into the work release program

Note that individuals convicted of drugged driving who have a child under the age of 14 as a passenger will have their punishments enhanced by one month of imprisonment. The enhanced imprisonment must be served consecutively to any other penalty.

Marijuana Paraphernalia In Kansas

The possession of paraphernalia used to store, ingest, or cultivate less than five marijuana plants is considered a misdemeanor offense in Kansas. This offense carries a maximum penalty of one-year imprisonment and a fine not exceeding $2,500.

However, if the paraphernalia is used to cultivate five or more marijuana plants, it is classified as a felony offense. The punishment for this offense includes a range of five months of probation up to 17 months of imprisonment. Additionally, a fine not exceeding $100,000 may be imposed. The sale of paraphernalia is also classified as a misdemeanor, carrying a maximum penalty of one-year imprisonment and a fine not exceeding $2,500.

Note that selling paraphernalia to a minor or within 1,000 feet of any school is considered a more serious offense. This offense is a felony carrying a punishment of five months of probation and up to 17 months of imprisonment. Similarly, a fine not exceeding $100,000 can be imposed

Hash And Concentrates In Kansas

Both hashish and marijuana concentrates are categorized as cannabinoids and are considered Schedule I controlled substances. This classification places them in the same legal category as marijuana. Consequently, the penalties for possessing, distributing, or cultivating hashish and cannabis concentrates are the same as those imposed for marijuana offenses.

Confiscation Of Assets For Marijuana Offenses In Kansas

There are laws in Kansas regarding the confiscation of assets or property associated with cannabis offenses. These statutes permit the seizure and forfeiture of property associated with or derived from unlawful cannabis activities. Under Kansas law, property used, intended for use, or derived from the commission of a cannabis-related offense may be confiscated. This includes cash, automobiles, real estate, and other forms of property. Also, Kansas law permits the seizure and forfeiture of cannabis-related activities' proceeds. This includes earnings from cannabis sales, cultivation, and distribution.

Additional Limitations

Kansas has implemented a marijuana tax stamp law, which mandates that individuals in possession of marijuana must affix state-issued stamps to the illegal substance. Failure to comply with this law may result in the imposition of fines and potential criminal penalties.

Possible Remedies For Kansas Marijuana Laws Offenders

If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense in Kansas, typical remedies usually involve you seeking legal assistance. Although the penalties for marijuana offenses are governed by law, the regulations can change at any time. Therefore, only a local criminal defense attorney may be able to determine how your case may be handled by prosecutors and judges at local courthouses. Some remedies that you may pursue include:

  • Diversion: Diversion for a first-time marijuana offender usually means that you have to obtain a substance abuse evaluation, and sign a diversion agreement document. The diversion agreement stipulates the charge against you, that you stay out of trouble over the period of the agreement, that you attend any classes or treatment recommended by the evaluation, and that you report to a diversion supervisor. If you comply with all the terms of the requirement, the prosecutor will dismiss the charges against you. If you violate the diversion agreement terms, the agreement will be revoked, and you will be automatically convicted
  • Substance Abuse Treatment: If your marijuana offense is related to substance abuse or addiction, seeking professional treatment and counseling services may be helpful. Completion of rehabilitation or a substance abuse program may be viewed positively by the court and can be presented as evidence of rehabilitation and commitment to change
  • Sentence Reduction: Experienced attorneys can use a variety of strategies to assist you in minimizing severe penalties for marijuana offenses. One effective approach involves highlighting your character as a supporting factor in your defense. If you do not have a prior criminal record and can demonstrate a consistent history of good conduct and stable employment, your legal representative can argue that imposing a prison sentence would impose excessive hardship on you and ultimately be more detrimental than beneficial

What is Kansas’s Cannabis History?

Medical cannabis has been illegal in Kansas since 1927 when a nationwide move to ban the drug swept through the United States. Between 2013 and 2015, a series of attempts were made to legalize medical cannabis, but the moves failed. In 2018, Governor Coyle signed SB 282 into law, permitting Kansans to use CBD products containing THC. However, in 2019, SB 28 was signed into law, allowing an affirmative defense in court for persons charged with possessing or using CBD products containing no more than 5% THC.

SB 560 was introduced in the 2021-2022 legislative sessions to enact a medical marijuana regulation act to regulate the cultivation, processing, distribution, sale, and use of medical marijuana. SB 560 failed to progress in the Kansas Senate.

SB 171 and SB 135 were introduced in the state’s 2023 legislative session to legalize medical marijuana. Both have been referred to separate committees, and as of early 2024, none has been passed into law. Also, HB 2363, introduced by Representatives Miller, Alcala, Amyx, Ballard, and Boyd at the Kansas House, proposes to release any person convicted of a drug offense involving marijuana from such prison's sentence and provide for the expungement of associated records. The Bill has been referred to the Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice, with the hearing adjourned until January 2024.

What are the Restrictions on Cannabis in Kansas?

It is illegal to grow, possess, distribute, deliver, manufacture, or use cannabis in Kansas. There are stringent penalties in the state law pertaining to illicit cannabis activities.

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