The Ohio Farm Bureau is taking steps to prepare Ohio farmers to grow their first crop of hemp next spring now that Gov. Mike DeWine signed a law legalizing it.
The Farm Bureau is researching best practices for growing hemp. Spokesman Ty Higgins said hemp is a crop that can be grown anywhere in Ohio.
“Well, they grow hemp in Michigan, so I think if they can grow hemp in Kentucky and Michigan that there’ll be a type of hemp, a certain variety of hemp for all parts of Ohio,” Higgins said.
The USDA has begun writing the regulations for growing hemp. Higgins said once the USDA is done with that, farmers will need to get a license, because of hemp’s similarities to cannabis.
Higgins met with a hemp farmer in Kentucky this month to learn more about what it’s like to grow hemp.
“There are lot of steps to take in order to be able to grow hemp, but he said the process is relatively easy,” he said. “There’s a little bit of paperwork but there’s not a lot of red tape.”
Higgins said after getting a license, farmers can still run into some challenges.
“This farmer in Kentucky was pulled over because of the odor coming from the back of his truck when he was hauling hemp that he was licensed to plant, to grow, to harvest, and to transport,” Higgins said. “He had all of his paperwork on him, but a cop that smells it on the back of your truck doesn’t know that.”
Higgins said the Farm Bureau still has more to learn about hemp and its market possibilities before sharing that information with the state’s farmers.