Bourbon County resident gets go ahead to grow industrial hemp

Officials excited to see impact on county
Bourbon County resident gets go ahead to grow industrial hemp
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A Bourbon County resident is given the go ahead to grow hemp.

Hemp is a cousin to marijuana.

It only has a fraction of the THC as marijuana — the chemical that get you high — and under state regulations can contain no more than 0.3 percent THC.

Hemp is used to produce CBD oil, and can be used to make paper and other products.

The 2018 farm bill removed it from the schedule one drug list at the federal level, and now a bill in Kansas has created the Commercial Industrial Hemp Program.

And people — like Joseph Besogno (pronounced Biz-own) — are getting ready to take advantage of the opportunity.

Joseph Bosogno, Bourbon County Resident:”I’m gonna look for the CBD oil manufacturing side of it. As far as scaling up long term, we have a bread manufacturer located in Kansas, and we want to produce hemp flour.”

Bisogno has been looking into hemp for a few years now and last week the Kansas Department of Agriculture approved his application to be a grower.

Now come June he will be growing around 20 acres.

Bosogno:”For me, I’m growing in different soil types. Looking at did it produce more cbd percentage or thc percentage versus planting in a different soil type? And I’ll be sending that info to the department of ag. “

Right now, farmers like Bisogno can only grow it for research purposes.

But last week, Governor Kelly signed legislation that would allow commercial use once it’s approved by the US Department of Agriculture.

Bosogno:”Hopefully, if we bring it in to Kansas, and we’re the first ones to start it and we grow.. start small, grow it big for Kansas, it will help boost the economy and help everyone in Kansas.”

Officials in Bourbon County are really encouraging people like Bisogno, who want to get in the industry, with the end goal of becoming a leader in the Kansas hemp industry.

Jody Hoener, Bourbon County Economic Development Director:”This has the capabillity of having an entire system of commerce here in the community with the farmers who are actually growing it, then you can get another license to produce it, and another license to be a distributor. So, it’s a full circle to be able to have that here in the community. And there’s a lot of enthusiasm about hemp, so we will be seeing it here.”

Bisogno says he’s not in it for the money though.. he wants to try and keep the next generation closer to their roots.

Bisogno:”There’s no where for the kids that grow up in these communities to stay in these communities and actually work. Hopefully with hemp, for the next little bit it will have a bigger return on investment. So, maybe it will intise the kids in the community to stay in the community and build the community.”

Bisogno wants to get a license to be a processor as well, so he can process the plants himself.

If you want more information on industrial hemp in Kansas, or see how to apply to be a grower, processor or distributor, follow this link.