Delta 8 now illegal in Kansas, but medical marijuana could be on the way
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Delta 8 debate leaves some confused and others unlucky. It comes from hemp and cannabis plants. A recent court decision in the state of Kansas changed its classification to a controlled substance.
You’ve probably seen signs, advertisements and flags along the route for Delta 8 on the subway. In Missouri, it’s legal. You can use it without any problem. However, in Kansas it could be considered possession depending on the counties interest in prosecuting it.
This is not a new strain of COVID or an airliner. It is part of the cannabis plant with milder side effects.
“It’s called weed’s little brother, or diet weed, if you will. It has intoxicating effects, but they’re much milder,” said KC Hemp Co. co-owner Heather Steppe.
KC Hemp Co. is an online store focused on CBD products. Steppe started the business with her husband. She is also part of the Kansas Chamber of Cannabis Commerce.
“Whether Delta Eight is legal or illegal in Kansas very much depends on who you talk to, and maybe even what county you’re in,” said criminal defense attorney Patrick Lewis. .
Lewis practices in Johnson County and is a member of the National Organization for Marijuana Law Reform.
Delta 8 is illegal in Kansas and how it became so is about as complicated as explaining Delta 8 itself. In western Kansas, the Ellis County prosecutor pursued a case involving Delta 8. He says he asked the attorney general’s office for advice but didn’t get much response. The outcome of the case classified Delta 8 as a controlled substance.
“They’re using that language as an opportunity to try to charge people with possession of a controlled substance, and the Ellis County attorney is the one who kind of set that ball in motion,” Steppe said.
On December 2, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued an advisory saying it is illegal to possess and sell in Kansas if it contains less than 0.3% THC.
“There are 17 different municipalities in Johnson County, and they could go any direction they wanted. It’s really a question of whether the prosecutor in that jurisdiction, does the police in that jurisdiction want to try to take over the subject? Lewis said.
Steppe said they no longer sell Delta 8 to Kansas customers and she hopes to see medical marijuana legalized in the state this year.
“During the offseason, we had a lot of time to educate lawmakers. And that’s really the problem. This is the problem and the solution. There’s a lot of misinformation, there’s a lot of lack of education,” Steppe said.
Steppe is hosting an online conversation about Delta 8 in Kansas and what you need to know on January 16 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.
Medical marijuana is under consideration in the Kansas Senate. It passed the House of Representatives last year. It’s unclear when a decision may be made, but if it passes Kansas, it would be the 38th state in the nation to approve medical marijuana.