Kansas Farmers Are Considering Hemp
The vast majority of our experiences with hemp likely stem from the natural goods section of our local high-end grocery store, but the truth is, hemp is much more than an ingredient in lip balm. First introduced to the Americas in 1606, hemp has been used to make things from paper and ropes to biodegradable plastics and fuel. Today, it’s one of the most lucrative crops around, which could be great news for Kansas real estate.
The Difference Between Hemp & Marijuana
Technically speaking, hemp and marijuana are both the same species of cannabis plant, but they differ slightly in their composition and strain. To be considered hemp, the plant must possess less than 0.3% THC, the compound that can make someone high. Plants exceeding the 0.3% THC limit are considered marijuana and remain illegal federally.
Current Legality of Hemp in Kansas
Though many Kansas farmers grew hemp to support the war effort in the ‘40s, hence why it’s sometimes found growing wild near creeks and streams across the Sunflower State, it was made illegal after World War II. It wasn’t until 2018 when legislators passed the Farm Bill of 2018, that hemp became legal on a federal level.
In the state of Kansas, growing hemp in commercial quantities is still illegal except in the case of university research, but that could change very soon. Kansas farmers planted 3,786 acres of hemp in 2020, roughly 1,000 acres more than in 2019, the Wichita Eagle reported.
Industrial Uses for Hemp
Hemp has long been an industrial commodity. In fact, the United States government temporarily lifted marijuana legislation to encourage farmers to grow hemp during World War II. In the film “Hemp for Victory”, the narrator tells viewers that every battleship in the U.S. Navy requires 34,000 ft. of hemp rope.
Today, hemp has many industrial uses, including but not limited to:
- Building Materials
- Industrial Products
- Food Additives
- Body Care Products
- Diesel Fuel
Hemp’s Effect on Kansas Real Estate
Thanks to the Farm Bill of 2018, ag-lenders and ag-insurers were able to legally issue policies to hemp-hopeful farmers. Considering that the worldwide hemp industry is expected to grow by 15.8% over the next several years, rich Kansas farmland could see a sharp increase in value. Furthermore, it could bring many good-paying jobs to Kansas, and that translates into more potential homebuyers moving in.