by the Associated Press

The deadline is approaching for applications to grow the state’s new industrial hemp research crop.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture will take applications for growers who want to be part of the state’s research program until March 1.

State lawmakers created the research program last April. The federal government also has declassified industrial hemp as a controlled substance as part of the 2018 Farm Bill.

State agriculture department spokeswoman Heather Lansdowne says Kansas law still allows only research on the crop.

Previous to the federal farm bill, Kansas could only establish a research program for hemp growing in order to comply with federal laws. Now, the state is open to establishing commercial hemp growing if the legislature approves it.