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Minutes for SB282 - Committee on Health and Human Services

Short Title

Updating substances included in schedules I, II and III of the uniform controlled substances act.

Minutes Content for Thu, Mar 8, 2018

The Chairperson opened the hearing on SB282.

Norm Furse, Revisor Emeritus, Office of Revisor of Statutes,  briefed the committee on the the bill and said it amends the State's Uniform Controlled Substances Act by adding and updating drugs contained in Schedules II and III, and also, amends Schedule I which includes drugs that are illegal to possess; the bill would take effect upon publication in the Kansas Register.


Carly Haynes, Director of Compliance, Kansas Board of Pharmacy, stood before the committee and delivered the testimony for Alexandra Blasi, Executive Director, Kansas Board of Pharmacy who was unable to attend because of a meeting conflict, and who said these amendments include vital updates to the Kansas Uniform Controlled Substances Act in order to protect Kansas citizens (Attachment 1).

Katy Whisman, Executive Officer, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, spoke as a proponent to this bill and reported In order to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation proposes adding a list of synthetic opioid compounds to Schedule I as outlined in SB282.   She said kratom is being added to that list under current Kansas law, even though it is legal presently for kratom to be sold in any form.   She said kratom is viewed to be a legal alternative to opioid use and is used to help treat addiction in the absence of medical supervision; however, there is no reliable evidence to support kratom's use as a treatment for opioid abuse disorder (Attachment 2).

Tammy Young, Citizen, Basehor, Kansas, supports putting kratom on the Schedule I list of narcotics.  She said she has two sons and both have been through addiction with this drug  (Attachment 3).


Murray A Holcomb, M.D., FACS, Georgetown, Texas, testified in opposition to placing kratom on the Schedule I list because he said all facts should be considered and feels kratom is safer and more effective than many prescription alternatives.  He said evidence exists of kratom's relative safety and effectiveness for people suffering from conditions including chronic pain, addiction, and resistant/refractory anxiety/depression (Attachment 4).  A copy of the letter to Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the United States President and Robert W. Patterson, Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration from nine leading scientists supporting the efforts to ensure continued lawful access to kratom was distributed to the committee (Attachment 5), along with an article from the American Kratom Association, "AKA Demands FDA Stop Its Disinformation Campaign Against Kratom" (Attachment 6).

Jessica Olson, Citizen, Wichita, Kansas, spoke in opposition to SB282 unless it is amended to delete kratom from the Schedule I list of narcotics because she feels kratom is a clear case for being a safe alternative to health problems that would otherwise be treated with prescription pharmaceuticals that come with a long list of unwanted and possibly harmful side effects and with the risk of physical dependence (Attachment 7).

Christina Goat, a small business owner from Wichita, Kansas, says she takes kratom for chronic back and hand pain as well as an energy boost, and; therefore, opposes SB282. (Attachment 8).

George Harper II, a citizen from Wichita, Kansas, strongly opposes SB282 because he is among the estimated 3 million Americans struggling with opioid addiction, and kratom has helped him keep his addiction in check  (Attachment 9).

Aaron Roberts, a citizen from Wichita, Kansas opposes banning kratom because he said it is the only drug that helps him to continue to function as a human being and thinks the resources being used to ban this useful substance is obscene (Attachment 10).

Nick Reinecker, a citizen of Kansas, spoke to the committee in opposition to this bill and explained the meaning of the terms addict, Drug Enforcement Administration, control, and controlled substance  (Attachment 11).


Kevin Barone, Lobbyist, Save Kansas CBD, spoke, without providing written testimony to the committee, as a neutral party for the bill.

Proponents written:

The following three law enforcement entities, in conjunction with each other, offered written testimony in support of the SB282:

Kansas Assoc. of Chiefs of Police, Kansas Sheriffs Association and the Kansas Peace Officers Association (Attachment 12).

Representative Bergquist asked a question concerning the significance of the schedule levels of drugs and was informed Schedule I was the most serious and Schedule 5 was less serious.  Representative Horn asked if research could continue on a drug placed on the Schedule I list.  The answer to her question was that Schedule I had the highest propensity to be abused and research can only be done by the federal government. 

After a period of time was spent on discussing the Schedule of drugs list, and there were no more questions, the Chairperson closed the hearing on SB282.