WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas is one of three states in the country where medical marijuana is not legal, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. Governor Laura Kelly said she wants to legalize and tax medical marijuana to help pay for Medicaid expansion.
The plan is unclear from the governor as to what it will look like. Some Kansas lawmakers disagree and others in full support.
A local CBD shop said it is prepared for a new business opportunity.
“Ten years, I mean they’ve been talking about medical cannabis laws here in the state of Kansas, let’s get down to it,” said Your CBD Stores owner and franchiser Brett Harris.
Harris said legalizing medical marijuana is what he is prepared for.
“We have a separate group right now looking at medical cannabis. As a group, we are already there, we’ve been looking at this for nine months,” said Harris.
Harris said if passed through legislation, he would section off the back half of his stores for the medical dispensary. He said he would hire security to check ID’s and cards. He said he has also checked with landlords to make sure they are okay with the business move.
Representative John Carmichael said he supports the proposal. He said the governor’s plan to legalize medical marijuana will help the economy and help pay for the expansion of Medicaid.
“I believe this is a good move on two counts,” said Rep. John Carmichael. “Coupling those two issues together gives both of them a better chance of passage probably than standing alone.”
Others disagree with the proposal.
House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins said to the Associated Press that Governor Kelly is focused on high hopes and pipe dreams.
“Governor Kelly envisions a Kansas where you can choose not to work and taxpayers will foot the bill for you to stay home and smoke supposedly medicinal marijuana,” Hawkins said in a text to The AP.
Senate President Ty Masterson said in a statement: “While it is noteworthy the governor is acknowledging the high fiscal note by proposing this creative funding mechanism, creating a new welfare program for able-bodied adults is not in the best interests of Kansans. Any new revenue stream should be returned to the people, while we preserve Medicaid for those whom it was intended – the elderly, the disabled, and other vulnerable Kansans.”
It is still early for the proposal and medical marijuana bills have been introduced in the Kansas Legislature before, but recently have not made it out of committee.