Ohio allows farmers to grow hemp - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Ohio allows farmers to grow hemp

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COLUMBIANA COUNTY, Ohio -

Ohio farmers could soon have the option for a new cash crop.

Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill this week that allows farmers to grow hemp.

Ohio is not breaking new ground with hemp cultivation; it's the 46th state to allow hemp farming.

The President of the Columbiana County Farm Bureau thinks it could be a welcome option for local farmers.

"After a growing year like we had this year, and in past years, farmers are struggling. I think anything that we can do as a group to help ourselves find ways to make farming profitable is a great thing to look at," said Danielle Burch.

Burch thinks it's one more way for local farmers to diversify.

"I do believe it's better than having only certain large farms grow it. Allowing local small farms to be involved in the process is important," Burch said. 

Family farmer Dallas Strong believes small farms would welcome a chance to expand their profitability.

"Anything we can do to try to be more profitable. At the end of the day, farming is a business, so you have to find a way to make money at it," Strong said.

It would be a new ball game for Ohio farmers, and the Farm Bureau said it might take some time to explain how it works.

There will be a licensing process for farms and extensive government regulation.

"I'm sure we can get that information and get that out to our local farmers here in the area," said Strong, who serves as Secretary for the Farm Bureau.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture believes farmers will be able to grow hemp in Ohio by next spring. 
 

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