You can now apply to join Kansas' Industrial Hemp Research program

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. (Ryan Hermens/The Paducah Sun via AP)
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) --- Anyone interested in participating in the state’s Industrial Hemp Research initiative can now download applications to join the program.

Licenses are available for people to participate as growers, processors, or distributors. The state Dept. of Agriculture posted applications for each license on its website. The deadline to apply is March 1.

The program stems from the Alternative Crop Research Act. The agency says the agricultural industry has created a strategic growth plan and is pursuing new opportunities. They expect this study to help determine the growth potential of hemp in the Sunflower State.

“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 website said.

The 2014 Farm Bill paved the way for the program, by allowing universities and state agricultural departments to cultivate hemp for research purposes. Industrial hemp is defined as cannibis sativa L plants and varieties with a THC concentration of 0.3 percent or less.