Legislative efforts seeking to allow legal distribution or cultivation of the cannabis plant for medicinal or industrial purposes face an increasingly uphill battle in the Kansas Legislature, even as some states around the country have legalized some from of medicinal cannabis or put the issue to ballot.
The effort wasn’t helped by a recent missive issued by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt in late January articulating his legal opinion that cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is technically classified in all instances as marijuana on the state and federal levels. Marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug by definitions of both the federal Controlled Substances Act and the Kansas Uniform Controlled Substances Act, creating, or at least spotlighting, more problems for advocates of industrial hemp and medicinal marijuana in any form.
Though the missive isn’t legally binding, it does provide guidance to state prosecutors. And while the 2014 national farm bill ostensibly legalizes industrial hemp that contains 0.3 percent THC or less, federal drug laws still technically classify fundamental components of the crop as marijuana.
Last year, the Kansas Legislature enacted a narrow provision classifying cannabidiol that contains no THC as a Schedule IV controlled substance, bumping it down from Schedule I. However, the provision also requires that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approve the sole active ingredient of any such substance.
“As of this writing, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved such a drug product,” Schmidt wrote in January. “Therefore, at this time, any substance containing cannabidiol is not excluded from the definition of marijuana…”
Last in line
From CBD to THC, Kansas has been steadfast in its commitment not to budge when it comes to the legalization of cannabis or its associated compounds. Meanwhile, 29 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories Guam