Is weed legal in Kansas?
No. In Kansas, marijuana for any purpose is illegal.
Only CBD with 0% THC is legal in the state. Kansas law places no restrictions on where CBD can be consumed but it may not be smoked or vaporized in flower form, as many cannabis consumption accessories are criminalized as drug paraphernalia.
Patients or parents of minor patients with debilitating medical conditions who possess CBD oil with less than 5% THC can avoid criminal conviction with a letter from their physician. But they can still be arrested, charged, and taken to court.
Possession of even small, personal amounts of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine for the first offense.
Before the 2018 legislative session, Kansas was one of the strictest states in the US when it came to prohibiting cannabis. Kansas first banned marijuana in 1927, as most states west of the Mississippi River did. Since then, Kansas has barely changed its stance on the plant.
On April 20, 2018, Gov. Jeff Colyer signed into law SB 263, also known as the Alternative Crop Research Act. The act instructed the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) to launch a program, in collaboration with Kansas’ public universities, investigating the viability of industrial hemp, defined as cannabis with no more than 0.3% THC content.
Shortly after, on May 24, 2018, Colyer signed SB 282, which explicitly amended the legal definition of marijuana to exempt cannabidiol (CBD), thus legalizing broad access to CBD products so long as they contain zero THC.
Gov. Laura Kelly signed SB 28, Claire and Lola’s Law, in 2019. It provided an “affirmative defense” for patients and parents or guardians of patients who possess and use CBD oil with less than 5% THC. An affirmative defense is usually presented in a trial, meaning the person can still be arrested, charged, and held while awaiting trial.
In order to claim the defense, the patient or parent/guardian must have with them at the time of arrest a letter from a doctor licensed in Kansas that states the patient’s “debilitating medical condition.” The letter must be on the doctor’s letterhead and dated within the last 15 months. The law did not include a list of conditions but stipulated a medically diagnosed disease or condition that impairs strength or function, including seizures.