Kansas legislators consider legalizing industrial Hemp
TOPEKA - Kansas legislators are taking a step towards legalizing industrial hemp products by introducing a new bill, House Bill No. 2451.
The proposed legislation would allow certain hemp products to be manufactured, marketed, sold, or distributed as long as they contain no more than 0.3% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration. The bill also specifies the allowable hemp products that can be produced.
The legislation would amend KSA 2-3901 and 2-3908 and repeal the existing sections. The proposed bill defines "industrial hemp" as all parts and varieties of the plant cannabis sativa L., including the seeds, and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers, whether growing or not, that contain a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis. The bill also defines "hemp products" as all products made from industrial hemp.
The bill allows the production of certain hemp products, such as cloth, cordage, fiber, food, fuel, paint, paper, particleboard, plastics, seed, seed meal, and seed oil for consumption. These final "hemp products" may contain a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3%.
However, the legislation prohibits the use of certain hemp products intended for human or animal consumption that contain any ingredient derived from industrial hemp that is prohibited under the Kansas Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, KSA 65-636 et seq., and amendments thereto, and the Commercial Feeding Stuffs Act, KSA 2-1001 et seq., and amendments thereto.
The bill would make it unlawful to market, sell, or distribute to any person in Kansas any extract from industrial hemp with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration greater than 0.3% that will be further processed. Additionally, no license or registration is required for transporting hemp products described in the bill if such products are transported between hemp producers and processors or between more than one hemp processor.
If convicted for violating the bill, a person shall be guilty of a class A nonperson misdemeanor on the first conviction and a severity level 9 nonperson felony on the second or subsequent conviction. However, the legislation does not prohibit the use of any hemp product for research purposes by a state educational institution or an affiliated entity or the production, use, or sale of any hemp product that is otherwise not prohibited by state or federal law.
The Kansas state legislators are expected to debate and vote on House Bill No. 2451 during the current session of 2023. If passed, the bill would take effect and be in force from and after its publication in the statute book.
The legalization of industrial hemp products in Kansas could have a significant impact on the state's economy. According to the Hemp Industries Association, the hemp industry generated $1.1 billion in revenue in 2018 and created more than 5,000 jobs. In addition, with the legalization of hemp products, Kansas farmers could benefit from a new cash crop, and the state could see an increase in tax revenue.
In short, the proposed legislation to legalize industrial hemp products in Kansas is a step toward progress and development. The bill allows farmers and entrepreneurs to create new jobs and stimulate the economy. Legalizing hemp products could also provide a much-needed alternative to traditional crops struggling to remain profitable. The state legislators will continue to deliberate on the bill and make a decision that could impact the future of Kansas.