TOPEKA (KSNT)-  A new bill in the Kansas Legislature would legalize medical marijuana for Kansas veterans.

A bipartisan group of Kansas Senators announced that they have introduced the Veterans First Medical Cannabis Act.

The bill would allow for the cultivation, distribution, sale and use of medical cannabis. For the first 60 days following enactment, patient identification cards would be reserved for eligible patients who are currently serving in any military branch, as well as those who have been honorably discharged or generally discharged under honorable conditions. 

Senator Tom Holland, one of the co-sponsors of the bill emphasized the importance of taking steps toward medical marijuana reform.

“This issue is important to all Kansans,” Holland said. “States all around the country have enacted laws that allow for marijuana use, at least on a medicinal level. It’s long past due for Kansas to follow in their footsteps.”

Kansas is one of three states left in the country that does not permit some form of medical marijuana use. Neighboring states, like Missouri, however, have legalized recreational marijuana.

Holland previously introduced similar legislation during the 2019 legislative session. It was referred to the Committee on Public Health and Welfare, where it received a hearing, and then died in committee. The Kansas House also passed a medical marijuana bill in 2021 by a vote of 79 to 42, but the Senate did not take any action on that legislation or any other addressing legalization.

The Veterans First Medical Cannabis Act has bipartisan support. The bill’s cosponsors are Senators Holland (D-Baldwin City), Corson (D-Prairie Village), Doll (R-Garden City), Faust-Goudeau (D-Wichita), Francisco (D-Lawrence), Haley (D-Kansas City), Pettey (D-Kansas City), and Pittman (D-Leavenworth). This bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs, where it awaits a hearing.