Kansas Bill Would Reduce Hemp Cultivation Fees by More than Half

A proposed Kansas bill aims to lower hemp business licensing fees from $1,200 to $500 to encourage more farmers to cultivate the crop.

Full story after the jump.

A bill proposed in Kansas would reduce licensing fees for hemp businesses from $1,200 to $500 which would reduce the barrier to entry for farmers to cultivate the crop, KSNW reports. State Rep. Tory Marie Blew (R), the bill’s co-sponsor in the House, told KSNW that “Lowering the barrier… is really gonna be appeasing to farmers to wanna get started and learn how to grow this crop and hopefully have more acreage in it in years to come.” 

State Rep. Webster Roth added that “At one point there were a large number of farmers wanting to farm this product, but the fees were so high that the licensure was high that they could not.” 

The measure passed the House 105-6 on February 14 and was referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. The measure was opposed by Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kelsey Olson who said that reducing the fee cap to $500 would require the agency to seek additional funding to cover an operating deficit in the future, according to supplemental notes on the proposal.  

Olson also expressed concerns regarding provisions of the bill that would allow for hemp in animal feed while State Fire Marshal Mark Engholm and Executive Officer of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation Robert Jacobs said they were worried about removing background checks and fingerprint requirements from the state law. All of those provisions were ultimately removed from the legislation.    

State Sen. John Doll (R) told KSNW that while there is support for the measure in the Senate, it’s likely to get leveraged to get other, more controversial, bills passed. 

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