A bill officially launched on Wednesday by the Kansas governor to legalize medical marijuana and use the resulting proceeds to expand healthcare. The move comes when lawmakers held back-to-back hearings on separate reform bills this week.
Governor Laura Kelly (D) has pushed for it Legalize medical cannabis and use that revenue To help Medicaid expand, Rep. Brandon Woodard (D) has tabled a measure to do just that. He introduced it to the House’s Federal and State Affairs Committee, where members heard statements about the separate law on legalization on Wednesday and Thursday.
“The combination of widespread, sensible medical marijuana policies, which will generate significant revenue with the expansion of Medicaid, will remove any logical opposition to the expansion,” Kelly said at a news conference Wednesday. “This calculation just makes sense.”
Watch the governor discuss the Medical Cannabis and Medicare Extension Act at around 6:16 a.m. in the video below:
“In the face of the worst public health crisis our country has seen in a century, I am even more committed to providing health care, jobs and support to our hospitals as Medicaid expands,” she said. “I urge the legislature to take Representative Woodard’s proposal seriously and also to examine the implications if they fail to pass the enlargement again.”
Under Woodard’s bill, the draft of which was shared with Marijuana Moment, there would be 21 conditions that qualify patients for cannabis – including cancer, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic or intractable pain – and regulators could add more conditions later.
– Brandon Woodard (@ Woodard4Kansas) February 24, 2021
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary would be responsible for drafting regulations for the program through July 1, 2023. This includes establishing a standard for a 90-day supply of cannabis that a registered patient could have. It would then be tasked with issuing patient and caregiver registrations and identification cards.
The director of Alcoholic Beverage Control would play his own role in the program, granting licenses to marijuana growers, laboratories, processors, distributors, and pharmacies.
“For too long, Kansas law has dealt with the legalization of medical cannabis. An overwhelming, bipartisan majority of Kansans support medical marijuana and the expansion of Medicaid, ”Woodard told Marijuana Moment. “The time has come to expand health coverage to more than 100,000 Kansans and allow Kansans to use legal, compassionate therapy to treat a wide variety of conditions.”
“Whether Kansas is taking the route of legalizing medicine, recreation, or something in between, I’m glad the conversation is finally taking place and people in Kansas are watching,” he said.
While the Representative’s bill would make it so that Kansas would join the vast majority of states that have legal medical marijuana markets, it is restrictive on attorneys. For example, it would prohibit smoking or vaping cannabis. And it sets a THC limit of 35 percent for marijuana flowers. Domestic cultivation by patients would not be permitted.
The governor first announced a plan to pass medical marijuana legalization earlier this month Use the tax revenue from cannabis to fund Medicaid’s expansion. And she said recently that she would like voters to bet Pressure on their representatives to adopt the reform.
The Federal & State Affairs Panel this week started a debate on separate legalization of medical marijuana invoice That was presented at this meeting, which was sponsored by the committee itself. Both supporters and opponents of the reform testified on Wednesday and Thursday on the proposal, and supporters expect it will get a vote in the next 10 days before it can speak.
The first hearing was made up of people who supported the policy change, including a veteran, a healthcare worker and a former state lawmaker. The second concerned statements from neutral or opposing parties.
Former MP Willie Dove (R) urged the committee not to take this for granted.
“We’re not talking about hippies from the 60s. They are talking about people, law abiding citizens, who really want to do something for their families, ”he said. “And I want to say that the revenue it generates is greatly valued in Kansas because it helps our bottom line.”
Like the Kelly bill, the committee-sponsored legislation lists 21 conditions that would qualify patients for the program, including chronic pain, HIV, and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, smoking and vaping products would be prohibited. Nor would it cater for self-growing.
“Veterans of all ages and ideologies are more advocates of medicinal cannabis than any other population,” said George Hanna, Kansas NORML co-director and veteran. “Every veterans organization, representing every generation and political perspective, has been largely advocating safe access. I personally have had several doctors in the VA myself who privately support medical cannabis. “
Thursday’s adversarial testimony touched on a number of topics of conversation: the scope of the qualification requirements for medical marijuana is too great, legalization would improve adolescent access to cannabis, THC levels are too high, and intake by pregnant women or adolescents is dangerous .
Industry advocacy groups at the Kansas Cannabis Business Association (KCBA) told Marijuana Moment that the statements, particularly those made by law enforcement officials, were particularly “negligent and dispassionate,” with most of their concerns refuted by [Chairman John Barker (R)] on the spot. “
“Basically, the message was, ‘If 30 other states have found solutions to these problems, so can you,” said Erin Montroy of KCBA.
A separate legalization of medical cannabis invoice was introduced by Senate Commerce Commerce this month, although there has been no action.
The language of the measure largely reflects the legislation that was introduced in the House last year. Patients would be eligible for medical cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation if they have an illness that severely affects their ability to perform daily activities, or if the lack of treatment would cause serious physical or mental damage.
Registered patients could grow and own at least 4 ounces of marijuana. The bill would also set up a Kansas Medical Cannabis Agency to oversee the program.
Read the draft text of Woodard’s Medical Cannabis Legalization Bill he is carrying on behalf of the governor: