Slightly Less Lame Kansas Now Allows Sale of New Belgium Hemp Beer

It took long enough, but the country is finally starting to come around to hemp. Kansas is just taking a little longer than the rest of us.

The non-psycoactive cannabis plant and the oils, fibers and cannabinoids derived from it have seen a huge boom in consumer interest over the past few years and grew 16 percent in sales from 2016 to 2017, according to a recent analysis from Hemp Industry Daily. Hemp has even become an ingredient in beer, with Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing Company (the fourth-largest craft brewery in the country) releasing a pale ale in March that is brewed with hemp seeds to extract cannabis-like flavor and aromas.

Mixing beer and cannabis — even a harmless hemp seed with no THC or CBD — was sure to raise some uneducated eyebrows, but most of the country was pretty cool with Hemperor HPA (hemp pale ale), despite initial apprehension from a few states, according to New Belgium CEO Steve Fechheimer. In fact, 49 states allowed it to be sold within their borders shortly after the beer’s release. The only state that didn’t? Kansas.

According to New Belgium, the beer was rejected earlier this year by the Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control agency, which cited hemp as a banned ingredient in any alcoholic beverages. The state agency changed its mind in September, however, after New Belgium requested a review of the decision and Kansas state laws regarding industrial hemp. (The Kansas ABC didn’t respond to requests for comment.)

Although not quite as square as the attorneys general of Oklahoma and Nebraska, both of whom sued the State of Colorado in federal court in 2014 for legalizing cannabis, Kansas AG Derek Schmidt still isn’t as woke as pot advocates would like. Before reversing himself in June, he’d deemed all hemp-derived CBD products illegal within the state, and once said this about Colorado to the Kansas City Star: “But doggone it, they have done something that federal law says they may not do, and it’s Kansans who are paying a price for that.”

I’ve met many fine people from Kansas, and I’m sure there’s more to the state than endless flatlands and dozens of billboards praising Donald Trump, Jesus and University of Kansas basketball. But the people running that state need to get real. You can buy hemp seeds at King Soopers for your morning yogurt, and my girlfriend’s mom uses hemp-seed oil for her poodle’s skin condition. This was an easy 2+2 equation, yet somehow state regulators turned it into algebra.

New Belgium appears to be happy and lighthearted about the news. “We’d like to think Kansans could no longer bear living life without experiencing the Hemperor’s game-changing union of hops and hemp,” spokesman Jesse Claeys says. “It could also be that Kansas, like many other states in our glorious union, finally got a whiff of how versatile and sustainable of a crop industrial hemp can be, and how it could play a much bigger role in our economy.”

Cheers to hemp and cannabis, Kansans — even if you still can’t smoke it.


Toke of the Town

Early voting has begun in Kansas

Early in-person voting began Wednesday, October 17. Registered voters can cast their ballots early anytime from now through Monday, November 5. Then, the Kansas general election is set for Tuesday, November 6.

Here’s a look at where gubernatorial candidates stand on marijuana policy: Laura Kelly (D) is supportive of medical marijuana, while Kris Kobach (R) opposes it. You can find more information on Kansas’ current marijuana policies here.

You can find more information on registration and voting here.

Please forward this message to your family and friends, and be sure to get out and vote!

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CBD Now Allowed Under Kansas Law — If It Has No THC

In a small step forward for patients who could benefit from medical cannabis, the definition of “marijuana” under Kansas law was changed by SB 282 to exclude cannabidiol (CBD). However, because state law separately bans tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), it will be difficult for medical cannabis patients to take advantage of this provision, because most CBD products contain at least trace amounts of THC (“hemp” is sometimes defined as 0.3% THC or less).

The bill itself does not provide for in-state access to CBD oils in Kansas, and CBD products are generally still illegal under federal law, as the Drug Enforcement Administration clarified in a rule that was recently upheld in federal court. But, there may be a narrow exception under a federal law allowing hemp research programs — and Gov. Colyer also recently signed a bill that will create such a program in Kansas.

While there are a number of “CBD” products available online, these products are typically unregulated, and unfortunately some do not actually contain the amount of CBD on the label — or any at all — or they also contain THC or dangerous compounds such as heavy metals. A more reliable way to obtain CBD oil would be to get it in a state with a regulated cannabis market such as Colorado, but doing so can be costly and onerous.

Despite its limitations, this is step forward. Once the law takes effect (which will happen when it is formally published), if patients are caught in possession of CBD oil that contains no THC, they will no longer be subject to prosecution for marijuana possession under Kansas law. With the passage of this bill, Idaho is now the only remaining state that does not acknowledge the medical benefits of cannabinoids in any way!

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Yes he can fetch, but Angus the dog can’t run for Kansas governor

(Reuters) – In the dog-eat-dog world of U.S. politics, a 3-year-old wire-haired Vizsla in Kansas was scratching his head, and behind his ears, after being denied a chance to run for governor, his owner said on Tuesday.

The Kansas man, who registered his dog named Angus for governor, said the secretary of state’s office has halted the campaign to put his pooch in politics.

“His platform was going to be free Chuckit balls for life,” said Terran Woolley, of Hutchinson.

“He is a little heartbroken and a little relieved because he doesn’t have to go to all those pointless debates,” Woolley said by telephone.

Woolley said he registered Angus after reading news reports that teenagers had filed candidacy paperwork and there were almost no requirements on who could run.

But there is at least one.

“A dog cannot run for governor,” Kansas Secretary of State spokeswoman Samantha Poetter said in a statement.

“Kansas statute and the Kansas Constitution make repeated references to a person being governor.”

One person running for governor is Kris Kobach, a Republican who is secretary of state.

“I am sure that Kobach is scared to lose to Angus in the general election,” Woolley said.

Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Sandra Maler

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Medical Marijuana Bills Introduced in Kansas

Kansas lawmakers began their 2018 legislative session last week with several marijuana bills before them, including SB 187 / HB 2348, the Kansas Safe Access Act. This bill would create an effective medical marijuana program in Kansas.

These bills were introduced in 2017 (the legislative session carries over from 2017 to 2018), yet never even received a hearing. And, Kansas is one of only two states in the entire U.S. that does not even have a limited low-THC medical cannabis law. Seriously ill Kansans deserve better.

If you are a Kansas resident, please ask your representatives to show compassion and allow patients access to treatments that can help alleviate the suffering associated with serious conditions like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy. Medical marijuana can also help reduce patients’ use of dangerous opiates.

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Racism and Prohibition: Kansas State Rep. Defends Ignorance

Marijuana haters, Henry J. Anslinger, and Jeff Sessions have a true friend in Kansas State Rep. Steve Alford (R-124th District). On display last weekend during a legislative coffee session at St. Catherine Hospital, Rep. Alford defended America’s policy of continued marijuana prohibition. A bigoted civics lesson loaded with racial innuendo, Rep. Alford inadvertently exposed the […]
Marijuana

Pot Profiling by License Plate Still Happening in Kansas, Victim Says

Since shortly after the 2012 passage of Amendment 64, which permitted limited recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, we’ve reported about alleged pot profiling. Over the years, multiple drivers have said they were pulled over for little or no reason while driving a car with Colorado license plates by state troopers in bordering states on the lookout for cannabis, with Kansas among the most frequently mentioned problem jurisdictions. Now, just over a year since a federal court ordered that pot profiling in Kansas end, a Denver-area resident tells us she’s recently been stopped three times in the state by law enforcers who apparently became interested in her the second they saw that her plate represented a legal-pot state.

The woman asked not to be named in this post because she travels frequently out of state and doesn’t want to become more of a target than she already is.

She believes she was profiled in Wyoming last year for driving a car with Colorado plates. “I got pulled over twice,” she recalls, “and one of the times, they gave the person who was with me a ticket for having an inappropriate seat belt, because she had the lap belt on but not the shoulder belt. They ended up throwing that one out.”

More recently, the woman drove into Kansas in a Colorado-plated car en route to a family visit in Illinois and was pulled over for allegedly driving at a speed of 101 miles per hour. That didn’t make any sense to her, since she had the cruise control on her vehicle set at a much lower level — and she was unsettled by the trooper’s decision to search her car, even though he insisted that “this is just routine.” In the end, though, “I didn’t even argue about the ticket” despite its hefty cost, $ 257.

The next time she entered Kansas from Colorado, mere days ago, she was in a rental car with California license plates — but since Cali has now okayed recreational marijuana sales, she found herself on the law enforcement hook again. “Apparently, they also look out for California license plates,” she says, “because why else would you be driving from California through Colorado into Kansas unless you were trafficking marijuana?”

On this occassion, she goes on, the profiling was especially overt. “I got off the turnpike to get some gas,” she recalls, “and I saw him on the ramp. He sat there and waited for me to get back on the ramp, and then he pulled me over and said I was doing 81” in a 75 miles per hour zone.

Having learned from her previous experience, the driver didn’t simply accept the trooper’s word for her speed.  “I’d locked in my cruise control at 75, and I told him that. But I also said, ‘Do what you need to do.'”

The trooper asked for the woman’s license, registration and rental-car agreement, and after checking them out, “he said, ‘I’m going to give you a warning this time,’ and I said, ‘Fine.’ But then he said, ‘Can I ask you some questions?’ Now, I have officers in my family, so I try my best to respect them. But I had a water bottle, and he said, ‘I see you have a water bottle. What’s in it?’ And I was like, ‘Excuse me? Water. That’s what’s in it.’ But he picked it up and shook it anyway. Then he saw that I had two cell phones, and he asked, ‘Why do you have two cell phones?’ I said, ‘One’s for work and one’s personal’ — and he asked, ‘What kind of work do you do?’ I said, ‘Why are you asking me all these questions?’ And he said, ‘I just want to know why you didn’t fly instead of drive.'”

At that point, the woman was on the verge of exasperation. “I told him, ‘I like to drive and listen to music — and by the way, I want to let you know that everybody in Colorado isn’t getting high.'”

In response, the trooper said, “Okay” and walked away after leaving her with the warning, which referred generically to excessive speed without any mention of the alleged 81 miles-per-hour rate. But the driver’s ordeal wasn’t over.

“Twenty miles up the road, I see another trooper,” she allows. “This time, I was doing 70 and the speed limit was 75. But he pulled me over anyway and said, ‘You were speeding slightly.’ I said, ‘No, I wasn’t.’ Then he said, ‘I didn’t see your seat belt.'”

Since she’d heard that excuse in Wyoming last year, the woman wasn’t caught off-guard. “I said, ‘You’re the second cop to pull me over in the last thirty minutes. What do you want?’ And this time, he said, ‘You were swaying on the road and I thought you were tired. Can I see your license?’ And as I was getting it, he saw the warning and said, ‘Why did you get it?’ I told him, and he said, ‘I’ve got you over the limit by a certain amount, too’ — but he never said what the amount was.”

Perhaps because he realized he’d given multiple reasons for the stop, the trooper didn’t bother issuing the woman a warning, and she thinks standing up for herself was the key.

As she was driving home, she made sure she wasn’t speeding — not that it mattered. In her words, “I noticed that there weren’t any troopers watching in the direction to Colorado. But in the direction to St. Louis, they were all lined up. They were pulling over people right and left.”

The woman reveals that she’s made a formal complaint to the Kansas State Patrol about her experiences. But she doubts anything will change. “I was talking to one guy at a stop,” she notes, “and he said, ‘They’re murder on Colorado license plates.’ And I said, ‘Yes, they are.'”

Toke of the Town

Fredrik Loving, Tobias Dahl Head New Goodbye Kansas LA Office

Goodbye-Kansas-Studios-150

Swedish VFX and animation company Goodbye Kansas Studios — which already has offices in Stockholm, Uppsala, Hamburg and London — has appointed game development veterans Fredrik Löving and Tobias Dahl as Studio Manager, VP, Executive Producer and Studio Manager, VP Production, respectively. Their first project will be establishing the new Goodbye Kansas LA office.

“The Goodbye Kansas group has expanded rapidly these last two years, and the demand for our VFX and animation services has grown especially fast within the video game industry. Welcoming Tobias and Fredrik to our family therefore feels amazing, as it will further strengthen our offering towards these clients and also provide us with a very strong platform in the US,” commented Peter Levin, CEO at Goodbye Kansas.

Dahl joins from EA, where he worked at SEED (previously Frostbite Labs) on “Digital Humans” for its interactive entertainment products. Prior to this, he was a key player at DICE in Stockholm and Los Angeles.

Löving was general manager and part of the leadership team at DICE, where he was instrumental in developing the Battlefield franchise — one of EA’s most successful IPs, ever. He has spent the last four years in Los Angeles establishing and building the DICE LA studio.

“I love being part of building something from the ground, and becoming part of Goodbye Kansas feels like coming home, while also giving me the opportunity to create something completely new and unique,” said Löving.

Dahl added, “Goodbye Kansas has quickly established itself as one of the most exciting VFX and Animation Studios globally. Being able to help build this success story feels incredibly inspiring.”

Fredrik Löving / Tobias Dahl

Fredrik Löving / Tobias Dahl

Animation Magazine

Kansas City Voters Approve Possession Penalty Reduction

Voters in Kansas City, Missouri approved a measure to reduce marijuana penalties by a wide margin on Tuesday.

Kansas City Star reports:

The measure lowers the maximum fine for marijuana possession in city court to $ 25 from $ 500 and eliminates jail time as a penalty. Under the old ordinance, a sentence of 180 days was possible.

The change applies only to cases in Kansas City Municipal Court in which defendants possessed 35 grams or less of marijuana — about 1  1/4 ounces.

The issue landed on the ballot through a petition drive led by the Kansas City chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Jamie Kacz, executive director of NORML KC, said residents who signed the petitions sent a message that they don’t want people jailed or fined heavily for marijuana offenses.

On election night, Kacz and other proponents gathered for a watch party to see the results come in.

“It’s a very positive result because we know Kansas City is ready for this change,” Kacz said.

The ballot measure also eliminates city charges for possession of marijuana-related paraphernalia, which carried penalties of 15 days to six months in jail and fines from $ 100 to $ 500.

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New Medical Marijuana Legislation Cultivated in Kansas

Politicians in Kansas are at it again … contemplating the legalization of medicinal cannabis for specific life-threatening medical conditions. A Kansas State representative introduced Senate Bill 155 on Monday. Aimed at helping Kansas become the 29th state to legalize some form of medical marijuana, Sen. David Haley’s bill would allow access to those seriously ill […]
Marijuana

Kansas May Be Getting Medical Marijuana

It looks like Kansas might be getting medical marijuana, as its Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee heard a bill on Monday that would legalize it for some conditions.

Kansas has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic, and many believe legalizing medical marijuana could help lessen the epidemic. Marijuana is a useful substitute for many opiates. Many also want it legalized because of how it helps treat conditions like epilepsy.

If Kansas does legalize medical marijuana, it will become the 29th state to do so.

[Photo by Edwin Olson/Wikimedia]

The 420 Times

Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced in Kansas

A proposal to make Kansas the 29th medical marijuana state has been introduced by Senator David Haley (D-Kansas City), and it’s supported by local advocacy group Bleeding Kansas. SB 155, the Kansas Safe Access Act, would allow seriously ill Kansas residents with certain qualifying conditions to access medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation.

Sixty-eight percent of Kansans believe that marijuana should be legal for medical purposes. There are a multitude of studies that show that medical marijuana can help patients suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and other devastating conditions. These patients should not have to wait any longer or risk jail time to access treatments that may help them.

If you are a Kansas resident, please contact your lawmakers and urge them to support this sensible legislation.

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Kansas Lawmakers Reduce Possession Penalties

Early Monday morning, the Kansas Legislature ended their session after meeting for only 78 of the 90 scheduled days. They did take a small step forward by passing a bill that reduces the penalties for marijuana possession. A first offense would be punishable by a maximum of six months, instead of one year, in jail and a second offense would no longer be a felony.index The bill now heads to Gov. Brownback’s desk, and will become law if he does not veto it within 10 days.

Unfortunately, the legislature did not pass any type of protections for medical marijuana patients, although it considered several bills to do so. The House did pass a bill, sponsored by Rep. John Wilson, which would have allowed patients to use low-THC medical cannabis and provided for in-state access. Although those provisions did not pass the Senate, it is significant because this is the first time any type of medical marijuana bill was passed by either chamber of the Kansas Legislature.

If you are a Kansas resident, please ask your legislators to consider a comprehensive medical marijuana bill next year.

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MPP Blog

Marijuana Policy Bills Progressing in Kansas

Two bills that would improve Kansas’ marijuana policies have passed the House and are moving in the Senate.

The first bill, now called SB 147, would permit patients with seizures to access low-THC cannabis, called medical hemp preparations in the bill.Seal_of_Kansas.svg While it is not a full medical marijuana law and would leave many patients behind, the bill proposes a workable system to provide immediate relief to some seriously ill Kansans. In addition, by passing the House, it has advanced much further than any medical marijuana bill ever has in Kansas.

The second bill, which is currently designated as the Senate Sub. for HB 2049, would reduce the penalty for first, second, and third-time marijuana possession. A first offense would be punishable by a maximum of six months, instead of one year, in jail, and a second offense would no longer be a felony, removing many of the associated collateral consequences. The Senate combined the marijuana-related provisions with another bill that increases penalties for burglary, on which MPP does not take a position.

If you are a Kansas resident, please urge your senators to support common sense reform.

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Huge carp found in Kansas ditch is no fish story

Rarely is a trophy fish so easy to land.

An animal control officer in Olathe, Kansas, recently hauled in a 60-pound (27-kg) carp that was lying in a drainage ditch. A man out for a walk last week spotted the fish and called police, city animal control officer Jamie Schmidt said on Tuesday.

The man estimated the fish at more than four feet (1.22 meters) – and he was not telling a whopper, said Schmidt, who responded to the call in suburban Kansas City. The carp lay dead in a roadside ditch that connects to a lake and it apparently swam there when heavy rain caused flooding, she said.

“When the guy said it was four foot, I thought ‘Well, most men tell fish stories’ and I thought it wasn’t going to be even close to that,” Schmidt said. “I was very shocked.”

Schmidt said the fish measured about 3 ½ feet (1.06 meters) long and weighed 60 pounds (27 kg). It was a grass carp, said Lucas Kowalewski, fisheries biologist for the Kansas Department of Parks, Wildlife and Tourism. The Kansas record for grass carp caught by angling is 77.7 pounds (35 kg), according to department records.

Schmidt said the fish had not decomposed and was lying in shallow water. She put plastic trash bags around the fish to drag it to her vehicle, where she loaded it into a kennel that has a power lift.

Schmidt had her picture taken with the fish, which appears on the Olathe Police Department Facebook page. After the picture, the fish met a quick demise.

“We treated it like any other dead animal,” Schmidt said. “We put it into our incinerator.”

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by Sandra Maler)


Reuters: Oddly Enough