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Hemp sees high interest from Minnesota farmers, city leaders

Minnesota's hemp program is getting inundated with calls as farmers, municipal leaders and producers look into investing in the newly legal crop.

Posted: Jan. 17, 2019 2:35 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's hemp program is getting inundated with calls as farmers, municipal leaders and producers look into investing in the newly legal crop.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that hundreds of Minnesota farmers are expressing interest in growing hemp just a month after Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill, which removed hemp from the controlled substances list. The new bill legalizing industrial hemp comes as farmers face low prices for traditional crops such as corn and soybeans.

Minnesota Department of Agriculture official Margaret Wiatrowski cautions potential growers to find buyers in advance since hemp doesn't have the same ready markets and processing infrastructure as established crops.

She says Minnesota is continuing its hemp pilot program this year and will submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to regulate hemp in 2020.

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

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