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US (MO): Medical cannabis debate to resume in Kansas, forcing tough decisions

On an unseasonably warm December day, lawmakers filed off a bus, chatting like schoolchildren on a field trip. Security inside the massive Greenlight growing facility near Swope Park in Kansas City, Mo., sees them long before they even enter the interior of the unassuming building, whose purpose is given away by the green color of the exterior and the unusually high level of surveillance for the warehouse-like structure.

It is getting to be crunch time for a committee to make recommendations on the question of whether Kansas should become the 38th state in the country to legalize medical cannabis before the entire Legislature returned to Topeka in January.

The tour was a way for legislators to visualize what medical marijuana might bring to Kansas and how regulations they might decide to put on paper will impact the budding industry in practice.

For Greenlight CEO John Mueller, Kansas represents an intriguing new market and home sweet home — he lives in Leawood. "I want to see a good program, tightly regulated program, come out ... that we can actually get through the Legislature," he said. "I think we got a friendly governor, but we've got to craft something that can actually get passed."

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