According to a new report prepared by the Kansas Attorney General’s Office, the amount of high quality cannabis coming into the state from Colorado is on the rise.
After Colorado began legal marijuana retail sales in 2014, authorities in Kansas had little way to find out how much of that newly legal weed was coming into their state. So the AG’s office sent out a survey to 320 law enforcement agencies and 70 county and district attorney’s offices across the state to find out what they were seeing out on the roads.
The answer? It seems law enforcement agencies in 93 of the state’s 105 counties report finding marijuana from Colorado in their jurisdictions, and about 70% of marijuana seized by the Kansas State Highway Patrol last year was deemed to have come from Colorado as well.
“While [our cases] are just several documented cases, we are confident that the vast majority of the marijuana we are seizing is from Colorado,” the Lenexa, Kansas police department said. “We know from training and experience that the Colorado marijuana farms can create a marijuana bud with a much higher THC content, which is preferred by the users.”
So instead of growing subpar marijuana and risking the jail time associated with that, many cannabis users are preferring to just buy higher-grade stuff in Colorado and bring it home. The same goes for lower quality bud coming up from Mexico: why waste money with that when something much better is just a state away?
So authorities in Kansas are left with two choices if they seek to stem the flow of legal cannabis from Colorado.
- They can use more law enforcement resources to try and clamp down on the marijuana flowing from Colorado, stop more drivers and search them, set up check points and make the punishment for possessing marijuana harsher. This would certainly stop some of the legal weed from coming in, but how much? And what happens when the busts and seizures cause the price of cannabis to go up, drawing more people into making the trip to Colorado to buy and re-sell cannabis back in Kansas?
- They can legalize cannabis, allowing for legal growing, possession and sales. This will spur economic activity in the state, create jobs and save law enforcement resources that can best be used elsewhere. With a regulated and legal marijuana industry in Kansas, why would a Kansan drive all the way to Colorado and spend their money there?
Kansas is a very conservative state that has shown little progress toward any kind of marijuana law reform at all, so it’s easy to guess which direction they are going to go. They will likely continue down the path that has been proven not to work, eschewing a new and better path.