SOURCE: Leavenworth Times
Rep. Willie Dove, R-Bonner Springs has introduced House Bill 2634, The Alternative Crop Research Act, legalizing industrial hemp in Kansas. The bill passed unanimously in the House Commerce Committee Thursday.
In this Quick 5 interview Rep. Dove discusses the bill.
Rep. Willie Dove, R-Bonner Springs has introduced House Bill 2634, The Alternative Crop Research Act, legalizing industrial hemp in Kansas. The bill passed unanimously in the House Commerce Committee Thursday. In this Quick 5 interview Rep. Dove discusses the bill.
1. Rep. Dove, why did you decide to introduce House Bill 2634, The Alternative Crop Research Act legalizing industrial hemp in Kansas?
To give Kansas farmers the opportunity to put a versatile, environmentally-friendly, alternative crop into their rotation, and to provide good jobs for Kansans on farms, in industrial hemp processing plants and related industries.
2. What would passage of this bill authorize the Kansas Department of Agriculture and state universities to do? Would the passage of this bill bring a lot of new jobs to the state?
The Farm Bill of 2013 allows states legalizing the plant to authorize their agriculture departments and state universities to begin pilot programs researching the planting, cultivation, and processing of this amazing plant. Rick Trojan, a Colorado hemp farmer testifying for our bill at a recent hearing, told members his 300-acre farm employs about 25 workers, and indirectly affects scores of jobs in transportation, marketing, retailing and research and development. Imagine the job-creating opportunities on a larger scale throughout our state.
3. Since the U.S. is one of the few industrialized nations that doesn’t allow the cultivation of hemp and the U.S. imports millions of dollars worth of hemp each year what are some of the misinterpretations about this crop that have prohibited cultivation in the U.S.? What are some of the 25,000 products that can be made from the hemp plant?
The primary misconception about hemp is that it is marijuana. It is not. While both plants are members of the genus Cannabis sativa, they are genetically distinct, and are regarded as such in the Farm Bill.
The major genetic difference in the two concerns is THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis.
The certified seed to be used for growing industrial hemp will contain no more than 0.3 percent THC. Marijuana, smoked for its hallucinogenic and medical properties, contains 10-100 times that amount.
Also, HB 2634 is not a “backdoor” to the legalization of marijuana. Hemp seed sold to approved growers will be strictly regulated, and cannot exceed the 0.3 percent THC content.