Disclaimer: The information below is fully based on our independent research. While our team does everything in their power to provide accurate and current information from credible state-run websites and resources, we are not lawyers or legal experts. As such, none of the following information should be interpreted as legal advice. Content on these pages is provided for informational purposes only and those with legal concerns should consult experts within their state.
Cannabidiol, the nonintoxicating cannabinoid found in both hemp and marijuana, is having a moment. Many people are touting therapeutic benefits associated with CBD, which could include relief from anxiety, depression, chronic pain, seizures and other conditions. Nationwide, CBD sales are expected to exceed $20 billion by 2024.
In 2018, congress signed a Farm Bill which reclassified hemp from a Schedule 1 controlled substance to an agricultural commodity. However, they left the creation and enforcement of hemp and CBD laws to the states. Because of this, we still have a legal patchwork that can leave people unsure whether CBD is legal in their state. Kansas is one of the states where CBD laws differ from federal ones.
Is CBD oil legal in Kansas?
CBD oil is legal in Kansas. However, enormously stringent restrictions apply. Any CBD products that contain any THC at all are treated, legally, like marijuana. Possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor with penalties that can include six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
CBD in the form of smokable hemp buds is not legal in Kansas. You are also not able to legally acquire marijuana-based CBD products.
What are the current CBD laws in Kansas?
Kansas does legally allow the possession and sale of CBD products, as long as they are limited to 0% THC. Cultivation of industrial hemp, a common source of CBD, is also legal in the state.
Laws in Kansas have evolved over the years and attempts have been made to loosen restrictions on both cannabis and hemp.
The state, joining many west of the Mississippi, outlawed marijuana in 1927. Cannabis remains illegal for both recreational and medical use to this day.
However, many in Kansas recognized that hemp was a separate, nonintoxicating plant and also a potentially lucrative agricultural commodity. In 1998, SCR 1605 was introduced to the Kansas Senate by Senator David Corbin. This bill called for the department of Commerce and Housing to form a task force to research the economic benefits of hemp as a crop in the state. However, the bill’s momentum died after being referred to the Senate Agricultural Committee. A similar bill, HB 2634, failed in 2016.
It took until 2018 for a hemp program to be established in Kansas. In 2018, Congress passed a Farm Bill that allowed states to establish licensed cultivation of hemp in the state. Kansas soon acted by passing SB 263. This bill was signed into law by Governor Jeff Colyer on 4/20/2018. This law, also known as the Alternative Crop Research Act, allowed the Kansas Department of Agriculture and educational facilities to grow industrial hemp to research its benefits.
The same year, Governor Coyler singed SB 282, a law which exempts CBD oil from the state’s definition of marijuana. However, to be legal, CBD oil in the state must contain no THC whatsoever.
By the next year, Kansas was ready to let ordinary growers begin cultivating hemp. HB 2167 was signed into law by Governor Laura Kelly. The bill established the Commercial Industrial Hemp Program, which would license potential growers. It also explicitly prohibited the manufacture and sale of certain cigarettes, cigars, chew, dip and other smokeless materials containing industrial hemp. Vapable hemp and hemp teas were similarly prohibited. It is also explicitly illegal to add hemp products, such as CBD oil, to foods intended for animal or human consumption.
Cultivation of hemp is permitted on both outdoor and indoor growing operations. Each license to grow hemp is limited to an 80 acre plot limit. However, individuals may apply for multiple licenses. There are also a number of licensed processors and distributors in the state. The restrictions for hemp grown in the state conform to the federal requirement that the plant contain less than .3% THC on a dry weight basis. Hemp products for sale must be processed to remove all THC.
Individuals in the state have made attempts to allow medical marijuana. However, none have been successful. Senate Bill 9 was filed by Democrat David Haley on January 10, 2013. This bill would have allowed for the use of medical marijuana for individuals with a range of chronic and debilitating conditions. Patients would be permitted to possess up to six ounces of marijuana and up to 12 mature plants. The bill failed to make headway. A similar bill was introduced in the House in 2015. While it passed the House, it ultimately stalled in the Senate.
A grassroots movement for medical marijuana legalization in Kansas took hold after a woman suffering from Crohn’s disease was arrested for using medical marijuana to treat her condition. She faced felony charges with a penalty of up to 30 years in prison. Many commentators took up her cause, asking what benefit was provided to the community by making this arrest. Ultimately, the individual pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 12 months mail-in probation from her new home out of state.
Law enforcement in Kansas has also shown willingness to arrest and prosecute individuals who transport and sell CBD products. Annie Martin and Sean Lefler’s store, The Free State Collective CBD Store, were raided twice by Kansas Bureau of Investigation. Lawmakers said that they were violating the law by selling hemp flower, as well as other prohibited items. Although third party testing showed that the items sold conformed to the state’s 0% THC requirements, the store’s owners were charged with felony trafficking. The case was eventually dropped without prejudice, which means that law enforcement can revive the case if they choose.
Kansas will also prosecute those who, knowingly or unknowingly, transport hemp through the state. A Colorado man shipped 350 pounds of legal hemp via FedEx to California. The package was seized when it arrived in a FedEx distribution center in Liberal, Kansas due to an odor consistent with marijuana. In February, 2019, Seward County prosecutors charged the sender with a level one felony for the distribution of over 30 kilograms marijuana. If convicted, the seller would face a minimum of 11.5 years in state prison and a $500,000 fine. A warrant was issued for the seller’s arrest, but he successfully fought extradition from Colorado.
Prosecutors contend that Kansas has no criminal labs that can determine THC levels and refuse to release the evidence to an out of state laboratory. Many legal commentators find the state’s position confusing, since they are now allowing the cultivation of hemp in the state. Under state law, hemp must be tested for THC content. As of December 31, 2019, the case remained unresolved.
Can I purchase CBD in Kansas?
Yes, you can purchase hemp-based CBD in Kansas, as long as it conforms with the state requirement that it contain 0% THC. CBD can be purchased at dedicated CBD stores, health food stores, convenience stores and other outlets. There are no quantity or age limits when buying CBD in Kansas.
You can also buy CBD products by mail and have them
Marijuana-based CBD is not legally available in the state at all.