On Monday afternoon Governor Laura Kelly signed a bill to establish the ‘Commercial Industrial Hemp Program.’
This is the very first year Kansas has allowed industrial hemp to be grown in the state. But, until now it was only allowed within research programs outlined in the 2014 Farm Bill.
This bill today doesn’t mean farmers can grow commercial hemp yet, but regualtors can begin planning for that.
“The Commercial Industrial Hemp Program represents a significant step forward for our agricultural economy. It will provide another crop option for Kansas farmers in the coming years,” Governor Kelly said. “I’m proud that Kansas is moving forward with this program and I look forward to working with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture and others to encourage growth in this new industry.”
Now the bill requires the Kansas Department of Agriculture to work with the governor and attorney general to create a plan for how the state monitors and regulates the production of hemp. That program will have to be approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“In recent years, Kansas farmers have faced significant challenges – including weather and trade tensions,” Kelly said. “I’m committed to doing all I can to support them and provide opportunities for diversification. This program provides another tool in the toolbox for Kansas farmers.”