P.J. Sneed is a nurse at a hospital in Wichita, but only until the end of the June. That’s when he’ll quit to become a hemp farmer.
“I’ve not grown a stitch of hemp,” he said. “But I feel like I know how I could do it and have a plan to do it.”
He’ll need more than just enthusiasm to succeed as he trades the stresses of checking patients’ vital signs and administering medicine for the stresses of growing a new crop without experience or the benefits of crop insurance.
Earlier this year the Kansas Legislature paved the way for Sneed’s decision after it legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp. Industrial hemp is the same species of plant that marijuana comes from (cannabis sativa), but it’s been specifically cultivated to produce a very small amount (by law, under 0.3 percent) of the psychoactive chemical, known as THC, that gets people high.
Boosters of the plant argue it has tens of thousands of uses. The fibers in its stalk can be turned into insulation, while the plant’s flower can be pressed into an oil rich with a chemical known as cannabidiol, or CBD. [Read more at KCUR]