Fear of crime, violence sidetracks Kansas medical marijuana proposal

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

The soonest Kansas could legalize a medical marijuana program is now 2025.

The Republican-controlled state Senate voted Thursday to punt a restrictive MMJ legalization proposal to next year’s legislative session, Topeka TV station KSNT reported.

Kansas is one of only 10 states in the U.S. without access to either legal medical or adult-use cannabis.

Senate Bill 555, introduced last month, would have created a five-year pilot program to allow very ill people access to limited MMJ products.

Popular products such as smokable flower, vaporizer cartridges and flavored edibles would have all been banned.

That was still too much for law enforcement officials and Republican lawmakers, who said legalization would “increase the amount” of organized crime and violence, KSNT reported.

Lawmakers said they would remain “vigilant” in opposing future reform efforts.

“I’m sure this is going to be something that’s going to be attempted every session from here on out,” Republican state Sen. Mike Thompson said, according to KSNT.

But the bill was also unpopular with cannabis advocates, who opposed the measure’s limit of only four licensed medical marijuana producers.