Researching Industrial Hemp as a Crop for Kansas

The Alternative Crop Research Act allows the Kansas Department of Agriculture to oversee the cultivation of industrial hemp in a research program.

Jason Griffin, director of the John C. Pair Horticultural Center near Wichita, says the Center is conducting industrial hemp research for Kansas State University.

Griffin and researchers at Kansas State University have released two new fact sheets on industrial hemp. Griffin says hemp, which is different than marijuana but part of the same cannabis family, has two sides – an intoxicating side – and an industrial-use side.

Two early challenges for growing industrial hemp is a shortage of seed because very few companies are selling it – and if they are – it’s expensive.

At this point, Griffin says more is unknown than known about the practicality of growing industrial hemp in Kansas.

However, Griffin says there’s a growing consensus that industrial hemp could be a viable crop for Kansas.

More information on industrial hemp is available at K-State Research and Extension offices across the state. You can find the fact sheets on the Northwest Research Extension Center’s website: northwest.k-state.edu.