The effort to legalize medical cannabis in Kansas is effectively dead for 2022, with a key Senate chairman conceding on Monday that reform will have to wait until next year to pass—but also saying that lawmakers will work over the summer to prepare a “near complete product” of a bill that can be considered when the legislature reconvenes early next year.
Monday marked the end of the legislative session. And while Democratic lawmakers made a final push to enact medical cannabis legalization before the deadline, Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee Chairman Robert Olson (R) said in a press release that the “heavy load” his committee had to carry on other issues means that lawmakers will not be “getting this measure across the finish line this session.”
“I am proud of what has been accomplished since the beginning of the session but not convinced that we have been able to fully take into account the complexities presented by all the potential patients, experts (medical, law enforcement, industry, etc.), and agencies that will be responsible for regulating the recommendation, cultivation, production, distribution and safe consumption of substances that come from the cannabis plant,” Olson said.
This represents a significant setback for advocates and stakeholders. A medical cannabis bill already cleared the House of Representatives last year, and a bicameral conference committee met last month to discuss a potential deal to get the measure to the governor’s desk, but negotiations ultimately proved unfruitful.
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