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:

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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