Kansas’ House Committee on Commerce, Labor and Economic Development has given approval to a bill that would allow the cultivation of industrial hemp in the state.
“Kansas farmers are having a very tough time,” said Representative Willie Dove following the vote on House Bill 2182, known as the Kansas Industry Growth Act . “It’s very dry, and they need a crop that will utilize that dryness.” Dove notes hemp requires very little water to grow properly.
According to its official text, the purpose of the act is to authorize and encourage “research activities, business development and support activities, public-private cooperation and educational activities toward the growth of an industrial hemp cultivating, processing or distributing industry in Kansas.”
This effort “shall include, but not be limited to, developing a value-added industrial hemp industry in this state such as the use of oilseed or of plant stalks to produce high-grade food and beauty products, fiber and cellulose for automotive parts, building products, fuel or other industrial hemp products and the development or commercialization of additional or improved Kansas products and markets for Kansas-grown or Kansas-made products.”
The proposal is in line with a 2014 farm bill that legalized hemp research throughout the United States.
House Bill 2182 must be approved by the full House of Representatives before being sent to the Senate, where passage would sent it to Governor Sam Brownback for consideration.