Flooding delays planting of newly legal hemp crops

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BUTLER COUNTY, Kan. (KAKE) -

Rick Gash's field is empty now, but he hopes his land will soon be filled with massive hemp plants.

"It's not been done before before that any of us alive have experienced legally," says Gash.

Gash planned on planting this weekend, but because of heavy rainfall, his plans are now on hold.

"We had 11 inches last week, and it was roaring through here," says Gash.

The rain destroyed the only road he can use to get tractors to the field, and the land is still too wet.

"The way you can tell a field if it's ready, you go up to it and you break the crust. And then reach down and grab the dirt. If it clumps together like that, then it's too soon," says Gash.

Just getting to this point has been a long journey for Gash. A head on collision nearly took his life, and he says the pain was unbearable. 

"I remember sobbing to my wife," says Gash.

He became addicted to his pain medicine and was desperate for something else.

"My wife sought out something to get me off the oxycodone I was hooked on and it was CBD," says Gash.

Two years later, he's jumped through all the hoops to grow his own hemp, and he won't let the rain stop him.

"When it's dry, we're gonna get in there, and we're gonna do this. Because the soil already has moisture in it, it's really a for sure thing," says Gash.

Gash is apart of the Industrial Hemp Research Program with the Kansas Department of Agriculture. The deadline to apply to this program is June 1, 2019. You can find information to apply here. 

Rick Gash is the founder of Hemp Development Group. The group provides informational meetings open to the public. The next meeting is Thursday, May 9, To contact the group, call 316-536-9390 or email support@hempdevelopmentgroup.com

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