Find Bill
Find Your Legislator
Legislative Deadlines
Dec. 15, 2019
RSS Feed Permanent URL -A +A

Minutes for SB263 - Committee on Agriculture

Short Title

Creating a program to research the use of industrial hemp.

Minutes Content for Wed, Mar 14, 2018

The Chair opened the hearing on SB263 at 3:31pm.

The Chair informed the Committee, Conferees, and the audience that this hearing was specifically for research on the growth of industrial hemp.  It is the Chairs understanding that SB282 - Updating substances included in schedules I, II and III of the uniform controlled substances act will be worked sometime this week in the House Health and Human Services Committee.  An amendment is forthcoming that will clarify the CBD oil issue.  Due to the number of conferees, the Chair asked that they limit their testimony to the research into the growth of industrial hemp.

Kyle Hamilton, Assistant Revisor, Office of The Revisor of Statutes, provided an overview of SB263 and the statutes that it affects. (Attachment 1)


Representative Steven Johnson, 108th District, Kansas House of Representative, appeared before the Committee in support of SB263(Attachment 2)  If we want meaningfully different outcomes on issues such as economic development or water use, we will have to identify and explore meaningfully different opportunities. Industrial hemp may provide opportunities in agriculture, food, building, textiles, paper, polymer development, aviation, agricultural machinery and other areas where Kansas has or could have strengths. I hope you will join me in supporting SB263.

Representative Troy Waymaster, 109th District, Kansas House of Representative, appeared before the Committee in support of SB263(Attachment 3)  I was pleased that one of the counties in my district, which also happens to be my home county, was selected for the industrial hemp pilot program.  This bill would authorize a pilot program for the purposes of economic development and market research in Russell county for industrial hemp. SB263 is more than research or creating a pilot program for industrial hemp.  This bill opens the economic doors for Kansas in stepping toward the future with other product research and development.

Representative Willie Dove, 38th District, Kansas House of Representative, appeared before the Committee in support of SB263(Attachment 4)  Industrial Hemp has been called the plant with over 50,000 uses and is a model eco-material for any sustainable economy.  The history of industrial hemp is well documented and goes back thousands of years for all manner of applications. Its versatility is unmatched. Its ban is a recent phenomenon based on false information such as being a narcotic.  Industrial hemp has trace amounts of its cousin marijuana's active ingredient THC, rendering it unusable as a drug. Industrial hemp contains no more than 0.03 percent THC content, which is not a high enough percentage for drug use.  We must remember All Hemp is not Equal.

Josh Roe, Deputy Secretary, Kansas Department of Agriculture, appeared before the Committee in support of SB263(Attachment 5)   The Kansas Department of Agriculture stands at the ready to develop a licensing and testing program to comply with all federal laws if a Regents institution desires to cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes. Our existing laboratory equipment can test for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels; the only required purchases are the testing materials.  Because hemp was outlawed in the 1940s, little to no applicable research on how it would perform in Kansas is available.  He provided an overview of research results he found from other universities.

Jeff Ochampaugh, President, Agrilead, Inc, appeared before the Committee in support of SB263(Attachment 6)  Agriculture represents 44.5% of our Kansas economy ... today farm income levels have dropped to a 14-year low, 50% of what they were in 2012. Yet, ag productivity is at an all-time high growing global output 3% each year while demand lags at 1.9% resulting in record global stocks of grains and low commodity prices.  Industrial hemp represents a new "industrial" ag crop for Kansas farmers, one that can be grown in our state for a variety of different purposes.

Joy Neely, Perry Kansas, appeared before the Committee in support of SB263(Attachment 7)   Hemp and marijuana plants look different from each other.  Marijuana will not grow where hemp is planted.  The Hemp Industry Association estimates total retail value of hemp products sold in the United States last year was approximately $260M - sadly, mostly from imports from other countries.  On average, on 1 acre you can get 1000lb of hemp with a price of $50/pound.  Please keep an open mind that hemp is not marijuana.  We need to allow Kansas Farmers the opportunity to grow this. We're not bring something new into Kansas, we're trying to bringing something back into Kansas.

Dr. Greg Smith, St Pete Beach FL, appeared before the Committee in support of SB263(Attachment 8)   His testimony was limited only to the medical aspects and uses of hemp oil.

Trevor Burdett, Lawrence KS, appeared before the Committee in support of SB263(Attachment 9)   Hemp can be used to make many products. The seed can be used for food, fuel, paint, and cosmetics. The stalk can be used as insulation, concrete, building materials, rope, biofuel, and even clothing.  With the many uses of the product, it would make sense that Kansas farmers would be interested in growing hemp. This bill would allow for research of the Hemp plant by state universities. I would urge the committee to look into all of the research that has been done by these same state universities.  Kansas State for instance has published research as far back as 1973 about wild hemp that was growing in Riley County fields. The research has been done and Kansas needs to let farmers grow.

Zack Pistora, Kansas Sierra Club, appeared before the Committee in support of SB263(Attachment 10)   This bill would pave the way for expanded agricultural opportunity in Kansas, as it has for many other states that have legalized research and commercial production of industrial hemp.  As a top ten agriculture state, Kansas ought to work to eliminate unwarranted governmental barriers for private enterprise to do noble farming business that will benefit the state of Kansas as a whole.  Industrial hemp has a variety of uses and can be highly profitable for farmers who may already be struggling financially with growing current commodities.  Industrial hemp would fit well for Kansas given our talented research facilities, farmers, and biofuel sector.

Joe Bisogno, Think Animals, appeared before the Committee in support of SB263(Attachment 11)   Let me provide some facts about industrial hemp. First, as the headline says, industrial hemp is not pot or marijuana. I have no interest in pot. The industrial hemp industry is projected to exceed $1.8 billion in sales for 2018. Industrial hemp allows manufacturing of more than 25,000 different products.  Industrial hemp plants need half the water of a typical wheat crop and can provide four times the profit of wheat. Kansas has many thousands of acres that can be cultivated, where as Kentucky has just 12,000 acres being cultivated in 2018. We can lead the nation in industrial hemp production and commerce.

Rock Gagnebin, Reno County KS, appeared before the Committee in support of SB263(Attachment 12)   Most of the products produced by the Kansas farmer goes into feeding livestock, however the agriculture technology revolution has modified the livestock with genetics and hormones to maximize animal gains per day which in turn reduces the animals overall product consumption creating a bottle neck and large surpluses of grains and no market. These same technologies have propagated to foreign countries and their farmers, reducing the need for US exports.  Movement towards a more aggressive Industrial Hemp program will greatly affect the farmers profit by 10-20 fold per acre and ignite manufacturing of Industrial Hemp products in Kansas while revitalizing our states agricultural manufacturing facilities.

Aaron Crowmer, Elkhart KS, appeared before the Committee in support of SB263(Attachment 13)   Kansas is in a position to be a national leader in this rapidly emerging industry as a producer, processor and manufacturer.  I feel that it is imperative to the survival of our rural communities to implement a means of growth and development that is attainable and sustainable.  Farmers by nature are an independent, hardworking sector of the Kansas, as well as National labor force.  Historically, this nation's farmers have overcome many adversities through hard work, determination, education and a vision for the future.  In the current economic plight faced by all Kansans, I am confident that with the support of our state government, Kansas farmers will rise to the challenge and succeed at this new and exciting industry.  During the last four years, I have dedicated considerable time, effort and research to educating myself regarding the growth and refinement of industrial hemp. I am very passionate as to this cause and am willing to share what I have learned.  I am also prepared to demonstrate my commitment by offering to produce 360+ acres of industrial hemp for research and development in Kansas.

Janae Talbott, Director, Russel Co Economic Development, appeared before the Committee in support of SB263(Attachment 14)   The economic downturn of the current commodity economy has left ag producers in need of an opportunity to diversify the small independent farm.  This commodity downturn has also taken its toll on the rural business environment.  Industrial Hemp is a specialty crop that creates diversity in ag production and opens the door for new business growth in the form of processing and/or manufacturing opportunities.  The market for this opportunity in now, before Kansas is passed up by other states already taking the opportunity that the industrial hemp market provides.  We are currently working with local business leaders, city/county leaders, agribusinesses, bankers, ag producers and ag equipment dealerships to facilitate a pilot program should SB263 pass.  The excitement and momentum that has been built is to the benefit of Kansas in moving this new industry forward.  With the growing need within the economic needs of Kansas, the upward climb of taxes, and the decline of population suffered statewide, Kansas needs a new and viable industry to not only sustain but to also boost growth.  This is not a bill that hides itself as a movement for the legalization of marijuana.  Ag producers and business investors desire this opportunity as a value added ag sector initiative.

The proponents stood for questions from the Committee.

Written only testimony in support of SB263 was received from:

    Jon Quinday, City Manager, Russell KS  (Attachment 15)

    Phillip Sneed, Nickerson KS  (Attachment 16)

    Chris Brunin, Lawrence KS  (Attachment 17)

    Rob Fillion, RJF Consulting, Ellsworth KS  (Attachment 18)

    Ryan Flickner, Kansas Farm Bureau  (Attachment 19)


Katie Whisman, Executive Officer, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, appeared before the Committee as a neutral of SB263.  (Attachment 20)   SB263, as amended, appears to be compliant with Section 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 and limits the cultivation and possession of industrial hemp, grown from certified seed, to the Kansas Department of Agriculture, one pilot program, and state educational institutions for research purposes only.  We feel it important to inform the Committee that industrial hemp and marijuana are both varieties of the cannabis plant and have the same taxonomy.  From a practical standpoint, there is no way, scientifically or otherwise, to differentiate between the two, or to prove or disprove that a product was cultivated by an entity authorized to do so under the act.  Such determinations, if necessary in evaluating criminal conduct, would require THC quantification which is a capability the KBI does not currently possess.

Ms Whisman stood for questions from the Committee.

Written only testimony as neutral of SB263 was received from:

    Ed Klumpp, Legislative Liaison, Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police, Kansas Sheriffs Association, & Kansas Peace Officers Association  (Attachment 21)

    Nicholas Reinecker, Inman KS  (Attachment 22)


Kyle Taylor, General Manager, Taylor Implement Co, appeared before the Committee in opposition of SB263.  (Attachment 23)  We support the concept of the bill, but we feel that it is too weak in its current form.  We can't disregard the great producers of our state at this time, while waiting for our Universities to do research that has already been done in other states and countries. The progressive producers (early adopters) will take the lead to make this work.  Canada has utilized knowledge of the industrial hemp industry from European sources.  Also, other states including Colorado, Washington, and North Dakota are already working with producers and processing of the industrial hemp.  Producers, manufacturers, and local economies are already reaping the benefits of being on the "ground floor" of the hemp revolution.  As you are aware from earlier testimonies, there are countless things that can be produced with industrial hemp and where there is a will there is a way.

The hearing on SB263 was closed at 5:03pm.

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 5:03pm.