Farming Hemp could get easier in Kansas

Farming Hemp could get easier in Kansas

There’s progress on a Kansas bill making it easier for farmers to grow hemp in the state.

HB 2168 would lower the barrier for farmers looking to grow hemp by reducing the maximum license and registration fee.

Legislators say it could help farmers diversify their crops amid years of drought.

After passing through the Kansas House of Representatives 105-6, the bill to reduce licensing fees from $1,200 to $500 for hemp farmers is in a Senate committee.

“At one point, there were a large number of farmers wanting to farm this product, but the fees were so high that the licensure was high that they could not,” Rep. Webster Roth, R-Winfield, said.

“Lowering the barrier is really gonna be appeasing to farmers to wanna get started and learn how to grow this crop and hopefully have more acreage in it in years to come,” Rep. Tory Marie Blew, R-Great Bend, bill co-sponsor, said.

She said hemp has a lot of industrial uses and can be more drought-resistant than other crops.

“This hemp stalk could be another form of plywood. I saw a hemp cutting board. They’re making hemp concrete,” Blew said.

She said the plant can cause concern for legislators because it’s in the same family as the marijuana plant.

“It does have THC, but it’s so little that even if somebody wanted to smoke it or do whatever they want with it, they’re just gonna end up with a really big headache,” Blew said.

Sen. John Doll, R-Garden City, said there’s plenty of support for the bill in the Senate. He said it will likely be leveraged to get other, more controversial bills passed.

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Region: Kansas

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