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Minutes for HB2168 - Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources

Short Title

Allowing hemp fiber, grain and seeds to be used as food for livestock, poultry and pets; adding hemp grain to the definition of grain; authorizing the secretary to utilize performance-based sampling when inspecting industrial hemp; lowering license and registration fees; extending license and registration periods to two years; and exempting certain hemp processors from fingerprinting and background check requirements.

Minutes Content for Wed, Mar 15, 2023

Chair Rahjes opened the hearing on HB2168.

Kyle Hamilton, Office of the Revisor of Statutes, provided information about what changes HB2168 would make to existing Kansas statutes including allowing  hemp to be used for animal food stuffs, using existing federal and state exemption language in the definitions section of the Kansas commercial industrial hemp act, providing performance based testing, providing exemption for fingerprinting processors, allowing hemp fiber, grain and seed to be used for animal consumption, and adding hemp to the definition of grain.(Attachment 1)

Representative Kristey Williams, District 77, provided proponent testimony and the need for specific incremental steps to assure success for the Kansas industrial hemp industry. (Attachment 2)  She stood for questions.

Robin M. Bonsall, Hemp for Kansans, provided proponent testimony and described her dream about the use of hemp products in all facets of life including building her home.  She suggested that Kansas should mirror an already tested process of growing and processing hemp that is being used in Montana. (Attachment 3)  She stood for questions.

Sarah Stephens Selmon, President Hemp Consortium, provided proponent testimony pointed out the need to clearly define agriculture and industrial hemp vs hydroponic cannibas grown for THC.  She owns a processing facility in Augusta, Kansas and noted licensing fees, and other restrictive rules are keeping Kansas from seeing the potential of industrial hemp.  She noted that the four processors in Kansas have spent a lot of money building processing facilities that are not being used to potential.(Attachment 4)  She stood for questions.

Kelly Rippel, Kansans for Hemp, and member of the Kansas Department of Agriculture Hemp Advisory Committee, provided proponent testimony referring to the transparency of the Advisory Committee to promote industrial hemp growth and processing in Kansas.(Attachment 5)  He stood for questions.

Written proponent testimony was provided by:

Representative Tory Marie Blew, District 112(Attachment 6)

 Brian Ochsner, Citizen. (Attachment 7)

Kelsey Olson, Deputy Secretary, Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) provided opponent testimony.  Specific details included striking the word "animal" and inserting "the commercial feeding stuffs act" which would allow hemp to be fed to livestock.  Kansas would be one of the first states to do this.  She noted that research has only begun to determine the effect of hemp on animals.  Additionally, the FDA has a zero threshold for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and industrial hemp THC generally falls below .3%.  Reduction or elimination of the license fee would not provide KDA the funds needed to fund the administration of the Commercial Industrial Hemp Program.(Attachment 8)  She stood for questions.

Robert Jacobs, Executive Officer, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, provided opponent testimony.  According to the United State Drug Enforcement Agency Cannabis sativa L (industrial hemp) is a schedule 1 drug under the Uniform Controlled Substance Act.  He also talked about the RAPBACK  program which will eliminate yearly fingerprinting. (Attachment 9)

Doug Jorensen, State Fire Marshal, provided opponent testimony.  Their main concern is about annual fingerprinting but the RAPBACK will eliminate that issue.(Attachment 10)  He stood for questions.

Written opponent testimony was provided by:

Ron Seeber, President and CEO of Kansas Grain and Feed Association and Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (Attachment 11) 

Ed Klumpp, Legislative Liaison for the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police, Kansas Sheriffs Association, and Kansas Peace Officers Association (Attachment 12)

and Shahira Stafford, Kansas Cooperative Council. (Attachment 13)

Nick Reinecker, citizen provided neutral testimony on the bill but spoke about the inequity of restrictions that won't allow him to plant and grow cannabis.(Attachment14 )(Attachment 15)

There being no other conferees, the Chair closed the hearing on HB2168.

With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:02 pm.