A bud from an industrial hemp plant, which is cannabis that has less of the psychoactive chemical compound THC than marijuana. Credit Brian Grimmett / Kansas News Service photo
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — The process of establishing a new commercial hemp program in Kansas has taken a critical first step.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the plan by the Kansas Department of Agriculture to change the state’s research-based commercial hemp program to a commercial program.
This approval makes it possible for farmers to grow hemp without being under the umbrella of a research program. Once this program is approved by the state, farmers will not have to make formal research proposals in order to grow the non-hallucinogenic crop.
But the program must jump through several more hurdles to change status. These include state-based rules and regulations.
Heather Lansdowne, a spokesperson for Kansas Department of Agriculture, said it doesn’t mean any immediate charge for farmers. But she added that the agency was “confident” that they would be growing commercial hemp next year.