3906 – Brief
SUPPLEMENTAL NOTE ON
2021 SILVER-HAIRED LEGISLATURE BILL NO. 3906
SHL Resolution No. 3906 urges the Kansas Legislature to expand medical uses of cannabis.
The resolution cites the following in support of legalizing expanded medical uses and applications of cannabis:
● In 2018, SB 282 was signed into law, which legalized the production, sale, possession, and use of cannabidiol and cannabidiol products that contain 0 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis;
● Cannabidiol has been shown through research to be an effective treatment for certain seizure conditions, especially in children;
● In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a cannabisbased medicine for the first time, but the FDA has not expressed interest in rescheduling cannabis from a Schedule I substance or descheduling cannabis entirely;
● Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia have legalized the medical use of cannabis under various circumstances;
● Kansas parents have relocated their families to other states where medical cannabis treatment options are legal and available to improve the quality of life of their children, especially those suffering from seizure conditions; and
● Medical cannabis, especially applications that include THC, has been reported to improve care for patients with chronic pain conditions, including pain associated with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, and endometriosis; nausea resulting from various conditions; post-traumatic stress disorder, especially in military veterans; HIV-caused pain and wasting; and other medical conditions.
In the last 15 years, 28 bills have been introduced in the Kansas Legislature addressing the topic of medical cannabis or cannabidiol; two of these bills have been enacted. The 2019 Legislature passed SB 28, also known as Claire and Lola’s Law, which prohibits state agencies and political subdivisions from initiating child removal proceedings or child protection actions based solely upon the parent’s or child’s possession or use of cannabidiol treatment preparation in accordance with the affirmative defense established by the bill. Additionally, the 2018 Legislature amended the definition of marijuana to exempt cannabidiol in SB 282.
In the 2021 Session, the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs held a hearing on HB 2184, which would legalize the use of medical cannabis. Its contents were inserted into House Sub. for SB 158, passed out of the Committee, and amended by the House Committee of the Whole. The House Committee of the Whole passed House Sub. for SB 158 as amended. However, the Senate Committee of the Whole ruled it materially changed and sent it back to the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs.
Additionally in 2021, SB 92 would have created the Kansas Equal Access Act to authorize the use of medical cannabis; SB 287 and HB 2436 would have enacted the Medical Marijuana Regulation Act and the Kansas Innovative Solutions for Affordable Health Care Act to expand medical assistance eligibility; and SB 315 would have created the Kansas Medical Marijuana Regulation Act to regulate production, distribution, sale, and possession of medical marijuana. None of the bills have received a hearing to date.
Two other bills that would have legalized the use of medical cannabis were introduced in the 2020 Session (HB 2740 and HB 2742). Neither bill received a hearing.
Three other bills that would have legalized the use of medical cannabis were introduced in the 2019 Session (SB 113, HB 2163, and HB 2413). The Senate Committee on Public Health and Welfare held a hearing on SB 113 but did not take any further action on the bill.
Sub. for SB 155 (2017) would have amended law concerning nonintoxicating cannabinoid medicine (NICM). Under the bill, no person could have been arrested, prosecuted, or penalized in any manner for possessing, utilizing, dispensing, or distributing any NICM or any apparatus or paraphernalia used to administer the medicine. The bill would have specified the physicians issuing recommendation orders for NICM and pharmacists dispensing or distributing NICM could not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or any penalty, including professional discipline. The bill was recommended for passage by the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs. At the beginning of the 2018 Session, the bill was rereferred to the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs and died in Committee.
Slight variations of a bill that would allow for the creation of not-for-profit centers and for these facilities to issue registration certificates, registry identification cards, and marijuana to patients have been introduced every biennium between the years 2010-2020. The bill would have allowed patients and caregivers to possess certain amounts of marijuana plants, usable marijuana, and seedlings of unusable marijuana. Also, the legislation would have provided patients and caregivers with certain levels of immunity from arrest, prosecution, or other civil penalties. Finally, the bill would have prohibited discrimination against patients from schools, landlords, employers, and other entities.