By Jonathan Bender, The Pitch
For the third time in three years, a medical marijuana bill sits before the Kansas Legislature. And for the first time in three years, the bill will actually be heard.
The Cannabis Care and Compassion Act, HB 2330, will be discussed tomorrow at an informational hearing of the Kansas House Committee on Health and Human Services. The measure, introduced by state Rep. Gail Finney (D-Wichita), would legalize and regulate the sale of medical marijuana in Kansas.
In 2010, a bill seeking to legalize medical marijuana failed to come to a vote. And last year's Kansas Cannabis Compassion and Care Act met the same fate.
If the bill passed, doctors would be able to issue patients with "debilitating medical conditions" and designated caregivers ID cards that they could use to purchase medical-grade marijuana at registered dispensaries known as compassion centers. The Department of Health and Environment would oversee the regulation and licensing. The bill, if passed, requires rapid implementation with a provision that calls for the rules governing the application process to kick in within 90 days of the effective date of the act.
Medical cannabis has been legalized in 15 states. Considering Kansas was the first state to ban K2 - a synthetic pot - back in 2010, it seems unlikely that it will be the 16th state to give patients a license to toke.