Among nearly twelve hundred bills introduced into the Kansas legislature this session, one area receiving bipartisan support from lawmakers is hemp. After mobilizing into action on House Bill 2244, which officially transfers hemp processing jurisdiction to the State Fire Marshal’s office, Planted Association of Kansas in partnership with Capitol Lobby Group successfully added crucial amendments to help expand the hemp industry’s growth.
As an appointed member of the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Industrial Hemp Advisory Board, Kelly Rippel was invited to draft amendments with the intent of helping farmers and provided testimony in multiple committee meetings. As a result of this work provisions were adopted to HB2244 allowing the sale of both full spectrum CBD products (containing .3% THC) and products made from hemp seed that are produced in Kansas.
Upon the bill being passed out of a conference committee on April 8th, Governor Kelly signed the amended bill into law on April 16, 2021. PAK extends its gratitude for the work and ongoing support from House Agriculture Committee Chairman, Representative Ken Rahjes, Senate Ag and Natural Resources Committee Chairman, Senator Dan Kerschen, Kansas Department of Agriculture and legislative committees.
While this change matches what is allowed at the federal level, there is more work to be done. Particularly in easing restrictions on producers and processors, clarifying jurisdictions of state agencies and allowing other forms of products to be sold while also increasing overall support for the hemp program as an important value-added crop for farmers.
Planted Association of Kansas was formed in 2018 as the state’s membership trade group supporting the reintroduction of industrial hemp. The organization’s mission is to spread awareness, provide education and advocacy, networking opportunities, and promote sustainable best practices for regenerative industries across the Heartland. As our state continues down the path of updating laws regarding cannabis, the non-profit looks forward to collaborating to support Kansas communities and guide evidence-based policy.