Medical cannabis legalization could become a reality in Kansas in 2023.

Sen. Rob Olson, R-Olathe, who chairs the 2022 Special Committee on Medical Marijuana, said during a committee meeting Dec. 9 that he plans to introduce medical cannabis legislation in the Senate at the start of the 2023 legislative session.

The committee has been conducting a series of meetings over the past several months to discuss drafting a medical cannabis legalization bill for 2023 and discuss what they can improve upon from this year’s failed legislation.

There were several efforts to legalize medical cannabis in Kansas during this year’s legislative session that failed, including a medical cannabis proposal that stalled in the Senate in May, a House-passed bill that never gained traction in the Senate, and a Senate bill introduced by Sen. Olson in March, Cannabis Business Times reported.

Lawmakers held two hearings in October—one to hear testimony from law enforcement, state agencies, and local governments, and another to hear public testimony on the issue, CBT reported.

During the most recent meeting Dec. 9, lawmakers discussed research on social equity, packaging and labeling, purchasing limits, local taxation and more, the Kansas Reflector reported.

After the series of meetings, Olson said he’s ready to introduce a medical cannabis legalization bill in the Senate at the start of the 2023 legislative session.

“I think what I’m going to do is—and any member is more than welcome—is to take this information and create the bill,” Olson said. “And I’m going to work on a bill with a couple members, and then if anybody wants to sign on in the Senate, they’ll be more than able to sign onto that bill, and introduce it at the beginning of session.”

Olson also encouraged House members who are a part of the Special Committee on Medical Marijuana to introduce a separate bill in their chamber, the news outlet reported.

“The whole issue is last year, we had a very strong bill that passed the House, and Senate President Ty Masterson wouldn’t allow it to move forward,” Sen. Cindy Holscher, D-Overland Park said. “So I know there are different parties who have been reaching out to him to remind him of how important an issue this is to a lot of different people. So, time will tell.”

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