Industrial Hemp Research Program

Program Information

Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. signed Senate Bill 263 on April 20, which enacts the Alternative Crop Research Act allowing the Kansas Department of Agriculture to oversee the cultivation of industrial hemp in a research program. KDA has begun the process of developing rules and regulations to guide the Alternative Crop Research Act, which included an open dialogue and information exchange at a public forum May 11.

The opportunity to grow a new specialty oilseed crop in Kansas offers potential for diversification for Kansas farmers looking for an alternative crop, or for new farming enterprises interested in cultivating industrial hemp. The Kansas agriculture industry has developed a statewide strategic growth plan in recent years, and is committed to pursuing new and innovative opportunities to grow agriculture. The research generated by participants of this new industrial hemp program will be valuable data in identifying the growth potential offered in this sector.

The 2014 Farm Bill included a section to allow for universities and state departments of agriculture to begin cultivating industrial hemp for purposes of research, provided that the growing and cultivating of industrial hemp is allowed under state law. Industrial hemp is defined by SB 263 as all parts and varieties of the plant cannabis sativa L that contain a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of no more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.

Open Dialogue and Information Exchange

A public forum at the Kansas Department of Agriculture was attended by more than 150 farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders in three sessions throughout the day on May 11, 2018. 

Panel for questions 2

The public forum sessions provided an overview of the Alternative Crop Research Act, including the legal parameters set within the bill, and the procedures that will guide development of the rules and regulations. Guest speakers included Brent Burchett, the director of the plant division from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and Mitch Yergert, retired director of the division of plant industry from the Colorado State Department of Agriculture.

Information from the public forum will be provided here as it becomes available. 

KDA Overview of SB 263 and the Regulation Adoption Process
Kentucky's Industrial Hemp Program
Colorado's Industrial Hemp Program
Overview of Open Discussion Topics

Video of prepared presentations:
NOTE: The power point presentations referred to in the videos can be accessed at the links above.

KDA overview of SB 263 and the regulation adoption process
Kentucky's Industrial Hemp Program
Colorado's Industrial Hemp Program

Transcript of discussion:
Full and complete transcript
This transcript includes the prepared presentations from the first session in the morning, followed by the public comment/Q&A portion of all three sessions. 
Scott Marsh presentation .................................. page 8
Jeff Vogel presentation 12
Brent Burchett presentation .............................. page 20
Mitch Yergert presentation ................................ page 38
Session 1 (9:00-11:00) comments/Q&A ........... page 61
Session 2 (11:30-1:30) comments/Q&A ........... page 106
Session 3 (2:30-4:30 p.m.) comments/Q&A ..... page 148

Advisory Board

A short-term Advisory Board has been appointed to serve through the development of the rules and regulations. The rules and regulations themselves will identify the guidelines for formation of the Advisory Board, so upon adoption of the rules and regulations an Advisory Board will be created which will continue beyond that point. 

Willie Dove, Representative 38th Kansas House District

Kerri Ebert, Extension Assistant, Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops

Steven Johnson, Representative 108th Kansas House District

Jeff Ochampaugh, Agrilead, Inc.

Kelly Rippel, Vice President, Kansans for Hemp

Steve Schuler, Executive Director, Kansas Crop Improvement Association

Dr. Andrew Tucker, Assistant Agronomy Professor, Fort Hays State University

Katie Whisman, Executive Officer, Kansas Bureau of Investigation

Troy Waymaster, Representative 109th Kansas House District

Jeff Vogel, ex officio, Program Manager, KDA Plant Protection and Weed Control


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is hemp, and what is the difference between hemp and marijuana?

  • When will industrial hemp be legal in Kansas?

  • How can I participate in this research program?

  • Will I need to get a permit or license?

  • How soon can I plant hemp?

  • Who will serve on the advisory board?

Answers to other questions will be determined in the rules and regulations process.