Proposed hemp bill gaining support in western Kansas

Apr 25, 2017

Credit Creative Commons

A bill that would allow Kansas farmers to grow hemp and Kansas State University researchers to explore its varieties and identify its industrial uses is gaining support in western Kansas.

As The Garden City Telegram reports, Representatives Russ Jennings of Lakin and John Wheeler of Garden City  both voted for House Bill 2182, as amended. 

And western Kansas farmers, like Morton County farmer Reid Shrauner, are looking for a crop that is less dependent on water than corn.

Shrauner told The Telegram that the Ogallala Aquifer is a depleting resource and farmers who irrigate know that it won’t last forever, so saving water is a priority.

As Kansas Agland reports, that is what prompted a forum being held Thursday afternoon in Abbyville that is aimed at educating farmers and others, including lawmakers, about industrial hemp.

House Bill 2182 passed the House in March by a vote of 103-18. Senate approval is needed, but Rep. Willie Dove of Bonner Springs, who introduced the bill, is hopeful.