Kansas’ full Senate has voted overwhelmingly to approve a measure that would allow hemp to be legally cultivated.
Senate Bill 263 was given approval Thursday by the Kansas Senate in a 36 to 3 vote. The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, where passage would send it to Governor Jeff Colyer for consideration.
The proposed law – titled the Alternative Crop Research Act – would alter the definition of “marijuana” under the state’s controlled substances law to exclude “industrial hemp”. The measure would also allow the Kansas Department of Agriculture to cultivate and promote the research and development of industrial hemp. The Department would be given the choice of growing and researching the plant on their own accord, or they could coordinate with a college or university. Under supervision of the Department, individual farmers would also be allowed to grow hemp.
Senate Bill 263 would require the Department to promulgate rules and regulations for hemp cultivation by December 31 of this year.
The full text of the proposal – filed by Senator Dan Kerschen (who’s a farmer himself) – can be found by clicking here.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 states have passed similar laws allowing hemp to be cultivated either for commercial or research purposes.