Industrial hemp bill clears Kansas House

Dr. Tony Brannon, Murray State University Hutson School of Agriculture dean, walks through a hemp field at the university's West Farm in Murray, Ky., Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. Since 2014, when crops were first planted at MSU as part of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's industrial hemp research program, the state has been at the forefront of national efforts to revive hemp production. (Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) — State lawmakers are one step closer to allowing limited scientific research into the benefits of industrial hemp in Kansas.

On Wednesday morning, the House overwhelmingly passed a measure that would exclude the producer from the legal definition of marijuana and cannabinoids. Only Meriden Republican Rep. Ronald Ellis voted against the bill.

If it becomes law, the Dept. of Agriculture would be allowed to grow and cultivate industrial hemp and encourage its research and development, to the extent allowed by federal law. The agency could conduct the studies either alone or in conjunction with research institution.

The proposal specifically targets Russell Co. as a location for a pilot program. The Ag. Dept. could also choose other counties as potential research locations.

The bill requires a licensing program to be set up that would oversee the research and set standards for who would be allowed to conduct the studies.

While the proposal would reclassify industrial hemp, it does not change any current regulations regarding medical or recreational marijuana use.

CBD American Shaman CEO, Vince Sanders sent a statement to 13 NEWS:

"Although SB282 cleared a major hurdle yesterday, there is still work to do before the Gov. has the opportunity to sign," wrote Sanders. "We understand the position the Attorney General was put in concerning CBD and believe, along with the Chairman and members of the House Health Committee, that the language added can return Kansas to the good ole' days when CBD was just like other supplements."