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Kansas Senate Committee Struggles With Medical Hemp Oil Bill


A Kansas Senate committee has approved a bill that would lessen penalties for marijuana possession, sending it to the full Senate for consideration. While working on the bill, the committee removed a section that would have allowed the medical use of hemp oil.

Some lawmakers raised concerns because hemp oil hasn’t been evaluated by the FDA. Republican Senator Molly Baumgardner says even if it’s legal, a hospital told her they won’t use it.

“Their physicians will not prescribe because it has not gone through the rigorous scientific clinical trials,” Baumgardner says.

Tiffanie Krentz has been asking lawmakers to approve hemp oil to treat children with seizure disorders, like her son. She says they’ve tried a medication in the past that wasn’t FDA approved, and they want the option of hemp oil.

“We’re stuck in a place where there’s nothing left for our son, so it’s hard to listen to them say the reasons why even though I know they’re well intended and not trying to harm our son,” Krentz says. The hemp oil provision isn’t dead. The committee put it in another bill that’s likely to be considered by the health committee.

Stephen Koranda is the managing editor of the Kansas News Service, based at KCUR. He has nearly 20 years of experience in public media as a reporter and editor.