Hemp is an agricultural crop that farmers grow for its fiber, grain, and flowers. Once processed, hemp can be used in a variety of products such as rope (hemp fiber), flour (hemp grain), and the chemical compound cannabidiol or CBD (hemp flower). Hemp was grown in the United States before being banned in 1970 as part of the Controlled Substances Act. Changes to federal and state law made it legal to grow and distribute hemp in Kansas starting in 2019.
We used a consultant to estimate the potential financial returns on hemp grown in Kansas in 2019 and the next several years. Our estimates show that Kansas' 2019 hemp crop had limited financial returns, likely due to a lack of knowledge on how best to grow hemp in Kansas. However, our estimates also show that hemp has the potential to become a more profitable crop in the future. That will depend on future harvest yields and market factors that are not yet known. For example, hemp's future financial returns will depend on future demand for CBD products and the development of new uses or markets for hemp fiber and grain.