By Joanne Lovato

Source: The Kenmare News

By Marvin Baker

Thanks to the 2014 Farm Bill, North Dakota now has two growing seasons of industrial hemp data to help producers make decisions should they decide to grow the controversial plant.

On July 21, the Langdon Research Extension Center held its second industrial hemp field day, narrowing down several varieties from the inaugural 2015 experimental plots.

In addition, four farmers across the state are growing industrial hemp legally, the first time that has happened since the 1950s.

Language in the Farm Bill gives state departments of agriculture the authority to allow for the growing of hemp, but with numerous restrictions.

That’s exactly how Canadian hemp production got started. It was legalized in 1996 under the microscope of the federal government, was an experimental crop in Manitoba for two years and now the province has 66,000 acres in production. The North Dakota Department of Agriculture jumped on board and this summer Lyle and Jamie Edwards of Adrian, Clarence Laub of Elgin and David Lommen of Maddock have the experimental plots.

Image courtesy of The Langdon Research Extension Center

That pleases Zev Paiss, the executive director of the National Hemp Association in Boulder, Colo.

Since hemp and marijuana, two plants with completely different properties, have been confused for years, Paiss believes the trials going on this summer in North Dakota will make a huge difference in the perception of industrial hemp.

“It’s easy to be confused,” Paiss said. “Education is our biggest task at this point and law enforcement is one group we have to educate. What was help- ful in Colorado is we brought in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to talk to farmers and law enforcement about the difference between the two.”

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Read this full story…..: Industrial Hemp Is Growing Right Now In North Dakota