The number of Kansas farmers licensed to cultivate hemp in the state has fallen from more than 200 in 2019 to just 41 this year, KAKE reports. The reduction in licenses comes as the share of Kansas farms growing the crop for CBD oil production fell to less than 5% – in 2019 and 2020, that share was about 90%.
Sarah Stephens, CEO of Midwest Hemp Technologies, told KAKE that while there has been “a reduction in the number of growers and the number of acres on the CBD side,” there has been “an increase in the number of growers and number of acres on the fiber and grain side.”
Kansas Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kelsey Olson told KAKE that the first few years of hemp production in Kansas were buoyed by a strong CBD market, but since more states have legalized adult-use cannabis, including neighboring Missouri, the demand for CBD products has declined.
“The landscape has changed over the last few years across the country. I think that may have shifted some of the use.” — Olson to KAKE
Melissa Nelson, co-owner of the hemp processing facility, South Bend Industrial Hemp, indicated that some of the state’s hemp producers are working to educate farmers on the potential of hemp fiber and grain markets. She noted that Kansas has the right landmasses, seasons, temperatures, and farmer know-how “to lead the industry.”
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