Pennsylvania Farmers are Growing Legal Hemp for the First Time in 80 Years
The state-approved industrial hemp plot is being funded by the eccentric soap company Dr. Broners.
Published on June 10, 2017

Legal cannabis is coming to Pennsylvania, but it won’t all be sold in a dispensary. In addition to the state’s upcoming medical marijuana program, late this week, farmers in Kutztown, PA sowed a three acre plot with the state’s first above-board industrial hemp grow in 80 years.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the farm is being run by The Rodale Institute, a well-known center for organic farming studies in the Keystone State, and funded by Dr. Broners, the organic soap company known for their kooky labels and hemp products.

For farmers working with the hemp crop, the agricultural experiment is long overdue, even after the group won one of 16 state-approved permits to research the industrial cannabis cousin.

“We would have like to have planted it a few weeks ago, but the seeds — from Italy and Canada — were held up in customs,” Diana Martin, spokeswoman for the Rodale Institute, said.

The last time hemp was planted legally in Pennsylvania was before the federal government began cannabis prohibition in 1933.

The hemp being grown has extremely low amounts of THC, but can still be used to extract other essential oils like CBD and to produce industrial products like paper and clothing.

But while the PA hemp crop won’t get you high, that doesn’t mean the hemp won’t still grow like a weed.

“It can grow 10 feet tall in about 100 days,” Martin said. “So, in a few months we’ll have a sizable hemp crop.”

Zach Harris
Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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