As more people learn about the benefits of the hemp plant, and more farmers understand its economic feasibility, state legislatures are moving to re-legalize this important and versatile crop.
Here’s a roundup of what’s going on in states that have or are considering industrial hemp harvests.
The Fayette Tribune reports that Pennsylvania farmers are eligible to participate in a pilot research program that will contribute toward a better understanding of what could be a new cash crop in the commonwealth and across the country. Under Pennsylvania’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Research Program guidelines, up to 30 projects of five acres each will be selected for the 2017 growing season.
According to Bloomberg, farmers in Kentucky are increasingly turning away from tobacco and to hemp. Kentucky trails only Colorado as the top hemp-producing state in America, as its farms now account for 2,350 acres or 25% of the nation’s hemp production.
Lawmakers in New Hampshire are drafting a bill to legalize cultivation of industrial hemp in the Granite State. House Bill 151 would not require any license to grow hemp, and it would create no state regulatory structure. Rather, it would treat industrial hemp like other plants, such as tomatoes.
Progress on the hemp front is happening internationally as well. The Bangkok Post is reporting that Thailand’s cabinet has given approval to a proposal to allow industrial hemp to be grown for medical purposes.
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