TOPEKA — They’re here in Kansas. CBD products with a bit of that oh-so-taboo THC in them. To vape, to put under your tongue.Some retailers argue those… We take a look at the laws surrounding cannabis and CBD in Kansas. Here's everything you need to know before making a purchase.
CBD Oil With THC In It Is Now In Kansas Stores, But Good Luck Figuring Out If It’s Legal
Hemp growing at a Kansas farm. A recent hemp bill has CBD vendors confused about whether they can sell products with THC.
TOPEKA — They’re here in Kansas. CBD products with a bit of that oh-so-taboo THC in them. To vape, to put under your tongue.
Some retailers argue those products became legal on July 1 because of tweaks to state regulation of cannabis-related substances in a bill supporting the state’s fledgling industrial hemp program.
THC is the chemical that puts the high in medical and recreational cannabis. Polls show most Americans want it legalized. Kansas is one of a small handful of states with the most restrictive laws against it.
Other vendors who also believe small amounts of THC became legal in Kansas on July 1 geared up to sell, then got cold feet after a hemp advocacy group posted a warning from a high-level Kansas Bureau of Investigation official on its Facebook page.
“Full spectrum is not legal,” says the statement, which Kansans for Hemp organizer Kelly Rippel says he received from KBI executive officer Katie Whisman. “CBD isolate or CBD containing no other controlled substance is what was carved out as legal.”
Full spectrum commonly refers to CBD products that include THC. (Although, buyer beware: Sometimes products labeled “full spectrum” don’t actually contain THC, and sometimes those labeled “THC-free” actually do have it.)
Multiple people who work in the CBD industry said sales of CBD with THC in it are now common across Kansas. The Kansans News Service easily found it for purchase within state lines.
National retailer CBD American Shaman prepped its website to start selling full spectrum to Kansans starting July 1, but postponed that plan when Whisman’s quote surfaced in late June. It remains hopeful the KBI is wrong.
“We’re just not gonna take the chance until it’s really clear,” CEO Vince Sanders said. “It’s all crazy … It is what it is, which is what we deal with in the world that we live.”
His Kansas City-based company sells CBD across the country and has become accustomed to an ever-shifting maze of state-by-state regulations.
“We know the legislators’ intent was to have full-spec oil,” he said. “The revisors (lawyers at the Kansas Statehouse who draw up bills for lawmakers) are writing exactly what the intent was. . We expected to have (a letter of legislative intent) by last Friday. We still don’t have it. So again, we expect it any time.”
A KBI spokeswoman told the Kansas News Service Friday it knows vendors are confused, and that clarification is needed.
“We are currently reviewing the issue, but don’t have specific guidance to offer at this time,” she wrote.
Sen. Mary Ware, who owns two CBD American Shaman stores in Wichita, says she understood the law to legalize full-spectrum products. A revisor and a Department of Agriculture attorney both assured her that was the case, she said, and she has requested clarification from Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s Office.
But a Department of Agriculture spokeswoman said in an email that agency doesn’t directly regulate CBD oil or how it’s used or manufactured, “including determining what the legal level of THC may be.”
“As we read the bill, [full-spectrum CBD] is not directly addressed,” she said.
The bill, she said, “does not regulate end products (other than to prohibit by criminal penalty the production of some specific products) created from hemp.”
“Our intent [was to allow] the growth of industrial hemp and the production of CBD oil,” she continued, “but that all products must meet whatever legal requirement[s] that were already in place.”
The legal requirement already in place for CBD bans THC.
She ultimately referred questions on THC’s legal status in CBD products to the attorney general.
Contacted by the Kansas News Service, Schmidt’s office would not answer the question.
“We have not yet received a request for a legal opinion on this issue,” a spokesman said, and did not answer follow-up questions about whether Schmidt had received an inquiry from Ware.
A Statehouse revisor who worked on the hemp bill wouldn’t comment on whether he had told the senator that full-spectrum products would become legal. He said he had not been approached by anyone seeking a letter clarifying legislative intent.
Revisors can’t answer questions from the public about legal analysis, he said. That includes the Kansas News Service’s question about whether HB 2167 legalized full spectrum CBD products.
How we got here
In 2018, Kansas legalized CBD, or cannabidiol. Vendors could only sell CBD without THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.
Both substances come from cannabis — the plant with high-THC varieties used for medical and recreational pot, and low-THC varieties used for CBD and hemp products.
CBD legalization led to a flourishing market for the stuff in everything from tinctures and slow-release skin patches to soda drinks and gummy bears.
Ideally, though, vendors want to offer the full-spectrum, THC-laced options, too. Those proved popular in other states. Some sellers say they come with additional health benefits. (The vast majority of claims regarding health benefits of CBD with or without THC have not passed federal vetting.)
This year, Kansas lawmakers passed two laws that relate to cannabis or its extracts.
One was the industrial hemp bill that some vendors believe now allows them to sell full-spectrum CBD with some THC.
The other was Claire and Lola’s law, a narrow bill that may assist certain people if they ever find themselves facing prosecution for possessing some products currently illegal in the state of Kansas.
But do bottles of CBD with small amounts of THC (up to 0.3%, a definition related to federal law) that some vendors now consider fair game even get anyone high?
“You could drink a gallon of the oil in order to get enough THC to get high. You’d be so sick to your stomach and still not be high,” said Ware, the senator who owns CBD shops.
Mallory Loflin, a psychiatry professor at the University of California-San Diego who researches medical cannabis and CBD, had a different take. For some people, a bottle would do it.
“Especially a novice user without much experience with the plant,” she said. “They’re definitely going to be feeling intoxicated.”
But if they chug that much fatty oil, Loflin says, diarrhea is the other effect that likely awaits them.
Celia Llopis-Jepsen reports on consumer health and education for the Kansas News Service. You can follow her on Twitter @Celia_LJ or email her at celia (at) kcur (dot) org. The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio focused on the health and well-being of Kansans, their communities and civic life.
Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link to ksnewsservice.org.
CBD Oil Laws in Kansas (Fully Explained)
As the CBD market proliferates, so too does the level of misinformation. One of the most pernicious myths surrounds the legality of the cannabinoid. There is a belief in some quarters that cannabidiol is legal in all 50 states. You will see this statement printed on many CBD sellers’ websites as if it were fact.
Contrary to what you might read, the 2018 Farm Bill did not legalize cannabidiol. Instead, it legalized the growth of industrial hemp with a max THC content of 0.3%. As CBD isn’t yet federally legal, each state can introduce its own laws. Today, we outline the situation regarding CBD oil laws in Kansas.
Is CBD Oil Legal in Kansas?
The answer is complicated because there is no black and white legislation. The official line is that residents of Kansas can buy CBD oil with 0% THC. Those who extract cannabinoids from hemp know that guaranteeing absolutely no THC is incredibly tricky.
You can essentially purchase broad-spectrum CBD oil in Kansas, but not full-spectrum. Broad-spectrum CBD contains a range of cannabinoids but no THC, whereas full-spectrum contains traces of the intoxicating chemical. CBD isolate is also permissible.
On May 14, 2018, state Governor Jeff Colyer signed Senate Bill 282. It exempted CBD oil from the definition of marijuana. Technically, CBD oil was now legal in Kansas. However, as THC remained banned, any product containing traces of the intoxicating compound remained illegal.
It was confusing for hemp and CBD advocates, manufacturers, sellers, and consumers. The 2018 Farm Bill changed nothing in this regard. Kansas decided that the legislation didn’t legalize CBD. As a result, state lawmakers assumed that cannabidiol remained illegal.
However, there were positive steps in 2019. The first, Claire and Lola’s Bill, was passed in May 2019. It is a protection against prosecution for possession of specific products in Kansas. However, it is a very narrow bill with limited impact.
The Latest Kansas CBD Oil Law
The Senate Substitute for House Bill 2167, signed in July 2019, shapes today’s CBD laws in Kansas. It established a Commercial Industrial Hemp Program following the 2018 Farm Bill. Prospective hemp farmers can grow their crop if it doesn’t exceed a THC level of 0.3%.
HB2167 generated a tremendous amount of excitement amongst the CBD community in Kansas. Was it finally legal to purchase full-spectrum CBD oil? CBD sellers were gearing up for a major promotional push.
Tasty and healthy choices…
Alas, it was yet another false alarm. A Kansas Bureau of Investigation official wrote a warning. He said that “full-spectrum CBD is not legal.” Instead, “CBD isolate or CBD containing no other controlled substance is what was carved out as legal.”
It was a statement that sent shockwaves through Kansas’ CBD brands. Despite several pieces of legislation, nothing has changed. There have been no significant legislative changes since. As a result, the law in Kansas states that CBD oil is legal, but only if it has 0% THC.
Where to Buy CBD Oil in Kansas?
As things stand, you are only on completely safe ground if you use CBD oil in Kansas with 0% THC. Thanks to Claire and Lola’s Law, there is an exception, but it is very restrictive. Your best bet is to find an online vendor that sells CBD isolate and broad-spectrum CBD oil.
You need a guarantee that there is no THC in the product. The only way to achieve that is by reading a brand’s third-party lab reports. Here are a few online CBD sellers that sell isolate or broad-spectrum products AND provide proof of the cannabinoid content:
Here are five physical stores in Kansas that sell CBD products. All of them have received positive customer reviews. However, remember that you must focus on products with 0% THC.
Name of Store
505 S Broadway, Wichita, KS 67202, United States
4006 SW 21st St, Topeka, KS 66604, United States
1605 Westport Rd, Kansas City, MO 64111, United States
Let’s Vape & Smoke Shop KC
3745 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64111, United States
Big E Vapor Shops
915 W 31st St S, Wichita, KS 67217, United States
What Are the Marijuana Laws in Kansas?
Kansas doesn’t have an official MMJ program. Instead, it has an incredibly restrictive law that technically permits low-THC oil but makes it very hard to attain. Kansas first prohibited marijuana in 1927 and hasn’t relented since.
The state has seen several failed attempts to introduce a proper MMJ program. Democrat David Haley pre-filed Senate Bill 9 in January 2013. Known as the Cannabis Compassion and Care Act, it permitted medical marijuana for specific debilitating conditions. If passed, eligible patients could use cannabis and own 12 plants or six ounces. The equivalent bill stalled in the Kansas Senate in 2015.
The state has seen several failed attempts to introduce a proper MMJ program.
The Shona Banda case generated a lot of publicity in 2015. She has Crohn’s disease and used MMJ to treat it. Law enforcement arrested her, and Banda faced five felony counts. Child Protective Services also took her son away and sent him to live with her ex-husband. Banda faced up to 30 years in prison.
In the end, she accepted a plea deal in 2017 and moved to Washington, where she completed a year of ‘mail-in probation.’ She subsequently filed a lawsuit against the state of Kansas and several agencies regarding the removal of her son from her care. However, a federal judge dismissed the unfortunate woman’s case.
In May 2021, the Kansas State House passed an MMJ bill and sent it to the Senate. However, no vote will take place until 2022 at the earliest. The bill proposes medical marijuana for cancer, Parkinson’s, and lupus, among other conditions. Even if it passes, MMJ patients won’t be able to smoke or vape marijuana.
Claire & Lola’s Law
The only thing Kansas has that resembles an MMJ program is Claire and Lola’s Law. Governor Laura Kelly signed the bill in May 2019. It allows profoundly ill people to legally access CBD oil with a maximum THC content of 5%. However, it is only open to individuals who can prove they found no relief with pharmaceutical medication.
Also, it necessitates that patients have a physician’s letter 15 months before buying the oil. The doctor’s note must also state that the patient is profoundly ill. No wonder Banda now lives in Washington!
The law takes its name from the tragic case of Claire and Lola Hartley. Both children had a rare condition called microcephaly, where the brain doesn’t develop fully. Sadly, Claire died in 2018, aged 17. Lola passed away in 2019, aged 13.
In Kansas’ case, geography could dictate its MMJ future. Colorado and Oklahoma border the state. The latter is considered a conservative partner to Kansas, yet it legalized MMJ in 2018. Governor Kelly was involved in both CBD laws in 2019 and represents the state’s best chance to legalize cannabis.
Cannabis Penalties in Kansas
Kansas has yet to decriminalize marijuana possession. Therefore, the possession of any amount is a misdemeanor that could spell six months in prison. If caught with more than 450 grams, it is classified as ‘Intent to Distribute,’ which is a felony. You could serve up to 42 months in prison and face a fine of $100,000.
The sale of any amount of cannabis is also a felony, with up to 51 months in prison as the maximum sentence. You are also fined up to $300,000. The sale of 25 grams or more is a more serious felony, with a maximum jail term of 83 months.
The cultivation of 5+ plants is a felony with a potential prison sentence of 46-83 months.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil in Kansas
At present, only CBD oil with 0% THC is permitted in Kansas. However, there isn’t a concerted effort to crackdown on buyers or sellers. There are plenty of CBD shops operating in Kansas at present. One business in Lawrence had its store raided twice and faced felony drug charges in 2019. However, the shop, which sells hemp flowers, had all charges dropped against it.
Hopefully, the state of Kansas clears up the muddied waters surrounding CBD oil. Indeed, Governor Kelly has an appetite for legalizing not only cannabidiol but also medical marijuana. Until then, you can technically only purchase CBD oil in Kansas if it contains no THC. Ensure you ask for third-party lab reports whenever you buy a CBD product.