TOPEKA (KSNT) – The recent actions of the Topeka Police Department conducting a search warrant at a cannabis dispensary in Topeka have some marijuana advocates worried more police crackdowns may be on the way.

KSNT 27 News spoke with Kelly Rippel, the co-founder of Kansans for Hemp and the founding president of Planted Association of Kansas, about what his thoughts were on the recent execution of a search warrant at Guardian Recreational Cannabis Dispensary on Wednesday.

Guardian Recreational Cannabis Dispensary (Courtesy Photo/Sonya Reed)

Rippel, who was attending the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for another CBD shop in Topeka, Earth’s Choice, noted how it felt strange to be at the opening of one business while another was being searched by the TPD.

“Its been a dichotomy or sort of… juxtaposition that I was at this opening at this business that we were trying to do things by the books and yet, on the other side of town, we’ve got these people who’ve set up a business that has, for whatever reason, has chosen to operate on a different business model and they got a sting operation put on them today,” Rippel said. “That is concerning for a lot of reasons.”

Earth’s Choice has been open since March 17 this year, but had its official opening on April 20, a happy coincidence noted by owner Shane Roeder. It sells a variety of CBD, Delta 8 and Kratom-related products. It is businesses like Earth’s Choice that might be at risk of future searches by the TPD and other law enforcement cracking down on products related to marijuana.

Rippel said he spoke with Roeder about having products in his store that may be considered unlawful, to help his store avoid any legal trouble. He further pointed out if the Legislature would regulate some of these products, then it would reduce any confusion people may have considering the legality of marijuana-related items.

“Because of the inaction of the lawmakers in the statehouse, it has created this atmosphere that people think that they can operate any way they want,” Rippel said. “We’ve been trying to change that.”

Rippel went on to say people could help push for change later in the year by making their voices heard through voting. He also said there would need to be movement within the Legislature to get laws in place around marijuana-related products so businesses can have their products approved and not have to worry about search warrants.

“This is in the hands of the legislature,” Rippel said. “If something is going to change as far as criminalizing people, lawmakers have to come to terms with that. I think enough people in Kansas are done hearing about this. If something is not done with cannabis in Kansas in 2022, there will be large repercussions from a social perspective and that will likely come at the ballot box.”

The TPD sent out a press release on their narcotics search warrant at 10:29 p.m. on April 20 stating that the investigation is currently ongoing as they look into the matter.

Marijuana and some related products are considered illegal in Kansas. The legality of products like Delta-8 remains ambiguous in Topeka while, statewide, marijuana and other controlled substances are regulated by a drug tax.