Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has signed the bill to create an industrial hemp pilot program in the state which passed the Senate in February and the House earlier this month. The final version of the measure allows the State Department of Agriculture, either alone or with an institution of higher education, to grow the crop and promote the research and development of hemp in accordance with federal laws.

“Research and development of industrial hemp, under the provisions of the bill, means such things as analysis of industrial hemp growth, including required soils, growing conditions, and harvest methods; research on seeds most suitable for Kansas; and market analysis to determine the potential for an industrial hemp market in Kansas.” – SB.263 enrolled summary document

The measure creates an industrial hemp advisory board and implements a schedule of licensure and fees. The costs of the fees for licenses, renewals “and other necessary expenses” still need to be determined by agriculture officials. All licensees will need to undergo a criminal background check, including fingerprints. Individuals with felony controlled substance convictions will not be allowed to obtain an industrial hemp license.

Under the law, the Department of Agriculture must promulgate the rules and regulations for the program by Dec. 31 and submit a progress report to legislative committees by Jan. 14, 2019.

Kansas is the 36th state to legalize hemp for industrial purposes.

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