TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas lawmakers held their final committee meeting for medical marijuana on Thursday. Now, preparations for the upcoming legislative session in January have begun.
Senator Rob Olson, R-Olathe, chairs the state’s Special Committee on Medical Marijuana. Olson told Kansas Capitol Bureau that he’s focusing on getting a bill together for next year’s session.
“My quest is to get a good workable piece of legislation,” Olson said.
The committee has held several meetings over the last couple of months to get feedback on a bill that will be introduced next year.
Olson, who will be spearheading efforts to draft the bill, said it will most likely be a “thick” bill, including regulations based on the feedback received during hearings. He said he plans to introduce the bill in the Senate, despite pushback from Republican Senate leadership. Senate President Ty Masterson has said that medical marijuana is ‘not a priority’ next year.
“I don’t know where this is going to go,” Olson said. “My interest is to have good legislation… good parameters… good guidelines… revenue for Kansas.”
Kansas has lagged behind on medical marijuana reform compared to some other states. Neighboring states, like Missouri, now offer recreational marijuana, after voting to legalize it in November.
Representative Christina Haswood, D-Lawrence, said she’s hoping that the Legislature will take action this year.
“We just want to make sure that we’re doing our due diligence, but at the same time, it has been taking a little too long for my liking at least,” Haswood said.
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