Kansas Taking Further Steps to Start Industrial Hemp Crop

February 19, 2019 06:42 PM
The Kansas Department of Agriculture is accepting applications from farmers who want to be part of the state’s industrial hemp research program, which state lawmakers created last April.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture is accepting applications from farmers who want to be part of the state’s industrial hemp research program, which state lawmakers created last April.

One of the farmers eager to get on board is PJ Sneed, who is building infrastructure, clearing land and establishing a cover crop on his land in western Reno County.

“I’m very excited; for me, it’s been a long time coming,” Sneed said. “It has for a lot of people, especially the grassroots movement. We’ve all been waiting for this moment.”

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer signed legislation last April to allow industrial hemp production only for research purposes, with a goal of encouraging the resurgence of hemp as a production crop and to promote economic development. The 2018 federal farm bill also legalized hemp farming.

The agriculture department has spent the last year gathering public input and establishing regulations for the program. Applications are due to the department by March 1.

Before the federal farm bill was approved, Kansas could only establish a research program for hemp growing but the state is now open to establishing commercial growing if the legislature approves, The Hutchinson News reported .

“So nothing is changing yet. The law that passed last spring and the regulations that go with it are what’s on the books,” agriculture department spokeswoman Heather Lansdowne said.

Lansdowne said the earliest the state could have additional laws to allow industrial hemp would likely be 2020.

Sneed agreed and predicted a large increase in hemp growers in the new future.

“I think in year two you’ll see a huge boom after people see what it is and how it’s grown,” he said. “In 2020 I think you’ll start to see more banks open up for commercial loans and things like that.”

The application process will include background checks and more.

The Hemp Biz Conference and the Planted Association of Kansas, of which Sneed is a member, will host a symposium on hemp growing in Hutchinson on Feb. 23. He said it’s designed to help farmers network and find markets but the focus this year will be on rules and regulations and the application process.

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Spell Check

bad axe, MI
2/21/2019 06:59 AM

  It's going to be interesting to see how much of this will be stolen out of the fields before it's harvested. China went down this road for centuries in there culture and had to rid there society of mind altering substances once they did that they turn in to a well oiled manufacturing machine. So why are we so hell bent on going backwards as a society. In China if your caught as a drug dealer there is no trial they take you out in a field and shoot you in the back of the head. If your a drug addict they give you all the drugs you want until you kill yourself. This is a bad road to go down in the US , China going to own us and occupy this country it's only a matter of time.

bad axe, MI
2/21/2019 12:02 PM

  So if this was so innocent why did Kansas have to pass legislation to allow industrial hemp production for research purposes because it's not. Everybody from law enforcement to law abiding adults know this is a stepping stone to all out mass production of marijuana. You can go fill half the drill full of hemp seed and the other half full of marijuana seed , plant and you can't see the difference through the growing season . Why do you think all these states are trying to regulate this, this will make the opiode crisis look like a church picnic. With all these states legalizing marijuana , if you can posse it you can grow it for personal use , what's saying I grow 80 acres and it just disappears , all I am saying your opening up a pandora's box.

Central, IL
2/21/2019 08:09 AM

  ck, hemp does not have THC which is the chemical in marijuana to get a person high. Hemp will be grown for its fiber, for its oils, and other things while marijuana used to get high is much more guarded and generally grown indoors so people cant steal it.


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