Industrial Hemp Research Program

As of Feb. 8, 2019, the permanent administrative regulations for the Industrial Hemp Research Program in Kansas are now effective. Applications for a license to participate in the Industrial Hemp Research Program as a grower, processor or distributor are now available here on this website.

Research license APPLICATIONS and relevant information and guidelines
Program Regulations
Approved Varieties of Industrial Hemp
Summary of Fees
Important Deadlines

APPLICATIONS

New buttonApplications are now available to participate in the Industrial Hemp Research Program. Applications are due by Friday, March 1.

Find the research license applications and all relevant information and instructions here.

Program Information

Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. signed Senate Bill 263 (now K.S.A. 2-3901 et seq.) in April 2018, which enacted the Alternative Crop Research Act allowing the Kansas Department of Agriculture to oversee the cultivation of industrial hemp in a research program. The KDA legal staff and plant protection and weed control program staff quickly began the process of developing regulations and other administrative documents and procedures to guide the Alternative Crop Research Act.

Since that time, KDA staff participated in more than 14 public outreach events across the state, which began with an open dialogue and information exchange at a public forum May 11 and included a public hearing prior to publishing the regulations. Content from those events is included on this page. 

The regulations were approved by the Department of Administration and the Attorney General and reviewed by the Legislative Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and Regulations before final regulations were published din the Kansas Register on Jan. 24, 2019. They became effective on Feb. 8, 2019, 15 days following their publication.

The Industrial Hemp Research Program became possible because 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.

The recent passage of the 2018 Farm Bill removed federal restrictions on the establishment of commercial hemp programs and allows individual states to develop a plan to license the commercial production of hemp and further directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a plan for states that do not do so. In order to establish a program for the commercial production of industrial hemp, Kansas must develop a plan through KDA, in consultation with the Governor and Attorney General. Any such plan must be submitted to USDA for approval.

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.