Farm bill could pave way for hemp in Indiana: ‘Biggest thing to happen to agriculture in Indiana in my lifetime’

Hemp plant (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

Farm fields across the state may soon look a bit different: Hemp is on the horizon in Indiana.

After years of hemming and hawing over the prospect of expanding hemp production to Indiana — and years of not doing anything about it — politicians, farmers and experts all expect 2019 to be the year that marijuana’s non-psychedelic cousin finally gets the green light, according to the IndyStar.

That’s because of the federal 2018 Farm Bill, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump in December. Part of that law removes industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, now making it a legal crop.

“This is the biggest thing to happen to agriculture in Indiana in my lifetime,” said Mark Boyer, a sixth generation farmer in Converse. “Hemp holds a lot of promise for Hoosiers, for what it could do for farming, for business and for individual folks.”

There are believed to be more than 20,000 different uses for hemp, from medicinal and food grade oils from the seeds to paper and clothing from the fibers. Industry analysts predict the hemp market could hit more than $20 billion in the next three to five years.

Read the full story from our newsgathering partners with the IndyStar.

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