SUPERIOR — The city of Superior is taking initiative to spread information about the hemp industry in Nebraska with a “Hemp Farming 101: From Seed to Sale” free seminar Thursday at Superior Country Club.

Speakers from Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska will give talks at the event.

Heather Erickson, Superior economic development director, said organizers just want to get ahead of the hemp industry after Nebraska legislation passed this year made hemp growing with a license legal.

“We don’t want to be behind. We are just trying to be in the forefront in getting that knowledge and education,” Erickson said.

Scott Boyles, a banker from Superior, presented the idea to Superior Economic Development after going to a Missouri hemp growers meeting. He says profitability of hemp is large, especially compared to other crops. He thought that a seminar would help educate farmers interested in hemp.

“Essentially, it’s just another crop to potentially raise,” Boyles said. “I’m in the business of helping other people, and if anybody can get any good out of it, that’s what we’re going for.”

Erickson said Superior Economic Development still is working to understand the impacts of the hemp industry. She said they are more interested in the manufacturing and industry that the hemp market could bring to Superior and Nebraska.

“In three years, we have no idea what hemp is going to be like in Nebraska,” Erickson said.

Information about the hemp process is coming from the Missouri Hemp Improvement Co. and Kansas State Research and Extension. Kansas approved a pilot program for hemp in 2018, and hemp will have its first hemp season next year.

Boyles said he got interested in the hemp industry after a friend and relative of his started looking into production.

Erickson said that there has been a lot of interest. She does not have a specific number in those who are planning to attend, but as of July 3, the Facebook Page for the event says 16 people are going.

The seminar will be Thursday at 6 p.m. at Superior Country Club. Speakers will include the Missouri Hemp Improvement Co., Kansas State Research and Extension, Bish Enterprises of Giltner, and District 38 state Sen. Dave Murman of Glenvil.

The deadline for hemp-growing applications closed June 28. The only allowable activity for this year is growing for research. No information is available about applications for 2020.

Hemp currently is used for fabric, oil production and food, among other applications.

Hemp is related to marijuana, but different in that hemp is defined as containing less than 0.3 percent concentrations of THC, the psychoactive chemical that causes a high.

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