TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Devin Crispin began growing hemp in 2019 in hopes of producing CBD oil.
He said the new plan provided by the government allows farmers to have clearer picture of what to expect before they begin the process like when to harvest and how to test their plants’ THC levels.
“We have a pretty good handle on what the new regulations will be. I think the benefit will be having a firm rule in place so that people can make investments and decide what they’re willing to risk without changes coming down that could affect their businesses.”
Prior to 2020 hemp farmers had to have a research license through a university to grow hemp.
Under Indiana’s new plan, farmers can now apply for a license independently to produce commercial hemp.
Although research licenses won’t be required, Cripsin said research practices can be beneficial to new farmers.
“As all of us work together, it’ll help us figure out what will grow best with our soil and climate. This is a plant that no one has grown in over 80 years until recently and there is very little information out there for new farmers. “
Hemp was originally produced during World War II era.
It is used to make cooking oils, medicine and fiber production.
Valerie Clingerman, Agriculture Educator for the Purdue Extension in Knox County, said hemp brings a new variety to the overall agriculture industry.
“I’m hoping that the market can be successful and maybe we can use hemp in unique ways in our food systems and fuels. I look forward to seeing the diversity in what we can use this crop for because it is a very diverse crop.”
The newly approved plan makes Indiana one of 29 states to allow the production of commercial hemp.